Chicago Cubs Lineup (3/24/24): Madrigal Leads Off, Peralta DH, Hendricks Starting

The Cubs have just three games left, so all that matters at this point is staying healthy and getting the rotation set up for the regular season. That includes Kyle Hendricks, who is currently slated to pitch again in six days when the Cubs face the Rangers for the second time. Why they have to take a day off after Opening Day in a covered stadium is beyond me, but I don’t make the schedule.

There was a thought that Hendricks might have to flip with Justin Steele after the lefty was struck in the leg by a comebacker in Friday’s game, but all appears to be well. The only issue might be that Steele isn’t fully stretched out since he departed early in the second inning, so it’s good they’ve got the day off to give the bullpen early rest if needed.

Most of the regulars are getting rest today, with just one everyday player in the lineup. Nick Madrigal returns from another hamstring issue and will lead off at third base, followed by Michael Busch at first and Garrett Cooper in left. David Peralta bats cleanup as the DH, Miguel Amaya does the catching, and Miles Mastrobuoni is at second. Alexander Canario is in center, Owen Caissie is in right, and Luis Vazquez rounds out the lineup at short.

They’re up against righty Logan Gilbert, the Mariners’ top pick in the 2018 draft. The 26-year-old has made 32 starts in each of the last two seasons on the strength of impeccable control and a big fastball. His mid-90s heater lights up the zone with good ride and slight cut, though batters appeared to have figured it out somewhat last season.

The slider was his real weapon and it too lands in the zone more frequently than most for swinging and called strikes. His splitter and curve don’t get as much usage, but they were good pitches for Gilbert last year. He may be working on some tweaks this spring because he was hit pretty hard in his middle two appearances.

Giving up 10 runs on nine hits over 4.1 innings has a way of skewing the numbers, but Gilbert has been really good otherwise. In his most recent outing, he held the Diamondbacks scoreless over five innings and struck out seven batters with no walks. This dude has very high-end stuff and could develop into an ace if he’s got everything working consistently.

First pitch from Peoria is at 3:10pm CT and you can watch via if you are so inclined.

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