Pregame Chatter: Cubs v. A’s 3:05 CDT; Arrieta Pitching; Kawasaki, Parra and Victorino Cut

The Cubs take on the A’s today in Mesa at Sloan Park and it’s quite an ominous looking day already. It’s extremely cloudy, chilly (about 58….brrrr, I know!) and looks like it might just think about raining. Very weathery, my friends. And when weather happens in Arizona, you almost always have to bask in it because, as silly as it sounds, it’s a nice break from the beating sun. I’m taking my four year-old boy to the game with me today and I’m honestly concerned about whether it’s going to be too chilly for him. I know what you’re thinking, this guy’s a wimp….but seriously, I am.

Jake Arrieta heads to the hill today for the Cubs in his first outing since a blister caused him to exit early from the Giants game last Thursday. All systems are go for Jake, after a very good 46 pitch bullpen session on Easter Sunday, which Chris Bosio described as “one of the best bullpen sessions he’s thrown all year.” It’s good to have Jake back but everyone will be keeping a close eye on him today to make sure nothing goes wrong with our stud.

Here’s today’s lineup:

Jake Arrieta (R) @ Athletics – Sonny Gray (R)
1. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
2. Jason Heyward (L) CF
3. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Tommy La Stella (L) 3B
6. Miguel Montero (L) C
7. Addison Russell (R) SS
8. Matt Szczur (R) RF
9. Jake Arrieta (R) P

Dexter Fowler is being held back again today. I’m assuming this is just a precaution and to get him some rest for his sore side since we haven’t heard anything more from the team on his status changing from yesterday.

By now you may have heard that the Cubs have released Shane Victorino, Manny Parra and Munenori Kawasaki. The Cubs will likely re-sign one or all of these guys since moves like these will sometimes happen towards the end of spring training to restructure veteran deals (BleacherNation article sums it up nicely).

If you recall, we mentioned earlier in the season that it was possible that Shane Victorino wouldn’t make the team, particularly since he’s had injury problems the last couple years and hasn’t performed well when not injured. So, while seeing him on this list isn’t surprising I’m sure the Cubs still intend to give him a shot and have him stick around minor league camp to rehab.

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