Chicago Cubs: Cactus League play begins this Thursday vs Milwaukee
With the Chicago Cubs set to take on the Milwaukee Brewers this Thursday, we’re inching closer to Opening Night against the Los Angeles Angels in April.
Instead of having Jake Arrieta on the mound to begin Cactus League play for the Cubs, skipper Joe Maddon will use veteran southpaw Travis Wood followed by Kyle Hendricks according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
The top three spots in the starting rotation are already on lock with Arrieta as the ace with Jon Lester and John Lackey both right behind him. As of right now, right-handers Hendricks and Jason Hammel are in the mix for the final two spots but will have some competition.
Wood was moved to the bullpen last season and made a few relief appearances during the postseason. He posted a 3.84 earned run average during the regular season but finished just below five in six appearances in October.
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It’ll be interesting to see how these pitchers will perform throughout Cactus League play. There’s always a possibility that Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein could go out and acquire another arm using a few pieces they have available.
First base prospect Dan Vogelbach, Matt Szczur, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler could come up in trade talks if they opt to go that route. As of right now, or at least to our knowledge, there’s nothing brewing in the rumor mill.
Remember, this team will and can make anything happen. I mean, take a look at Dexter Fowler‘s situation. He went from “reportedly” having a three-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles only to sign a one-year, $8 million contract to return to Chicago.
Here are a few more stories you may have missed over the weekend:
‘Short game times the aim for MLB‘ – Cubbies Crib
‘Options aplenty for final rotation spots‘ – Cubbies Crib
‘Another big trade could be on the horizon for the Cubs‘ – Cubbies Crib
‘New sliding rule a good step in the right direction‘ – Cubbies Crib
‘Athletics: Reconsidering the Jon Lester trade‘ – Swingin’ A’s