Chicago Cubs Lineup (3/21/23): Hoerner Leading Off, Mervis DH, Taillon Starting

The WBC championship has taken precedence over any spring baseball, so this will be quicker than usual. Rest assured that I’ll do a better job with breakdowns and scouting once the games matter.

David Ross has gone back to the triumvirate of Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson, and Ian Happ at the top of the lineup and it looks like this is something we’ll see a lot in Chicago. Eric Hosmer is at first base, but he shouldn’t be cleaning up after spring training, then it’s Patrick Wisdom at third and Nelson Velázquez in right. Matt Mervis is the DH, Tucker Barnhart is the catcher, and Christopher Morel is in center.

Jameson Taillon is on the mound for the fourth time in Cactus League play and he figures to get to the fifth inning as long as things are going well. He got roughed up for four runs on as many hits in his last start, with the big damage coming on two homers. Taillon has yet to walk a batter, however, and he’s struck out nine in 8.1 innings of work.

It’s been almost two weeks since his last official appearance, but the former Pirate and Yankee threw 72 pitches in a minor league game last week in order to continue stretching out.

The well-traveled Jordan Lyles will be on the bump for the Royals coming off of a very wild start in which he walked five over 3.2 innings. He’s given up two hits in each of his four previous outings and could be due to give up a little more hard contact in this one.

First pitch is at 8:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.

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