Chicago Cubs Lineup (3/7/24): Wesneski Starting, Caissie Leads Off, Shaw Playing Third

It’s hard to believe we’re just three weeks away from Opening Day, though it’ll start to feel more real once the Cubs tighten up their focus. Cody Bellinger just played his first Cactus League game yesterday, Jameson Taillon hasn’t made an appearance yet, and injuries have pressed prospects into even more action than usual. None of that is cause for concern, mind you, it’s just that the lazy days of spring have seemed even less consequential than usual to this point.

Hayden Wesneski will take the mound tonight for the Cubs. Owen Caissie leads off playing left field, followed by designated hitter Garrett Cooper, Michael Busch at first base, Jorge Alfaro catching, and Alexander Canario in right field. Pete Crow-Armstrong bats sixth playing center field, David Bote follows playing second base, Matt Shaw will be playing third base, and Luis Vazquez rounds out the order at shortstop.

They’re up against hard-throwing righty Hunter Greene, who has added two new pitches that could make his triple-digit heat play up. The Reds’ Opening Day starter is throwing a splitter and curve now, and early results have been very good. Mainly a fastball/slider guy in the past, Greene’s changeup was very unpredictable and didn’t get good results.

Neither did the fastball, for that matter, as it was among the worst in MLB with -11.6 run value. When you struggle with the zone and have to pipe one, it doesn’t matter how hard you throw it. That’s why Greene was in the 16th percentile when it came to allowing hard contact. Dialing in the split and having another breaking ball with a different shape than the slider could make him very dangerous.

This will be a preview of what the Cubs are going to see a lot over the next five years, and we should get a pretty good look since the game is at Goodyear Ballpark. Marquee’s center field camera at Sloan has been awful all spring, both in terms of clarity and color, so let’s hope that isn’t the case tonight.

First pitch is set for 7:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.

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