Chicago Cubs Lineup (3/4/24): Smith at 1B, Cooper DH, Wicks Making Third Start

Jordan Wicks is already making his third start of the spring as the Cubs take on the Padres in Peoria Monday afternoon. The lefty has looked sharp so far as he makes a bid to break camp as part of the rotation, and I’d put him at the top of the list of possibilities for the fifth spot with a wide gap between him and second place.

There is also something of a battle for the 26th roster spot, especially now that Craig Counsell has confirmed that Mike Tauchman will make it. Though it is still an uphill battle for one of the non-roster invitees to make it, the Cubs have brought several dudes into camp as depth options. Two such dudes, Dominic Smith and Garrett Cooper, are in the lineup today.

Nico Hoerner leads off at shortstop on Monday, followed by Smith at first, Christoper Morel at third, and Cooper at DH. Nick Madrigal is at second, Miguel Amaya is the catcher, and Owen Caissie is in left. Alexander Canario patrols right and Pete Crow-Armstrong bats ninth in center.

Folks, that’s a fun outfield.

They’re up against Jhony Brito, who I’d tell you more about if the wifi on this Delta flight was faster than dial-up. Maybe there are just too many NFL draft prospects and talent evaluators relaying their experiences at the combine over the weekend. All I know is there are a lot of large humans aboard.

Back to Brito, one of the players traded to San Diego from the Yankees as part of the Juan Soto deal. He was ranked in the mid-teens as a prospect before graduating and a tl;dr of FanGraphs’ profile of the righty says “Brito projected as something a bit more than just a contender’s fifth starter, but probably not an impact arm.” Mainly a sinker/change/slider guy, his hard stuff sits 96 mph and he generated grounders at a good clip in the minors.

Kind of a meh matchup all the way around, honestly. First pitch is set for 2:10pm CT with the only coverage coming by way of the Padres on

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