Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Royals – 03/09/08

Spring Training Game Twelve: Cubs (4-7) vs. Royals (5-5)
Game Time – 3:05pm C.T. TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, Gameday Audio on MLB.com
Location – Surprise Stadium, Surprise

Ryan Dempster (1-0, 3.60) vs. Brett Tomko (1-0, 6.75)

Time to spring forward…. The Cubs will make the roughly one hour journey today from Mesa to Surprise to face a very talented, young Kansas City Royals team. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to make his third start of the spring. Dempster appears to be a lock to make the starting rotation, the only question remains is…. will he be slotted as the Cubs number three or number five starter? Dempster has allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in 5 innings in his first two starts with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks. Kosuke Fukudome is not expected to play today and do not be surprised to see Piniella’s lineup missing such names as Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez as well.

Today’s starting lineup will likely be similar to the one that took the field last Saturday in Tempe or yesterday in Phoenix, so today’s focus must be on the performance of the pitchers. After Jon Lieber’s outing on Saturday, Ryan Dempster needs another solid tune-up this afternoon….but most importantly, Dempster must throw strikes.

Out of the pen…. Kerry Wood, Carmen Pignatiello, Kevin Hart, Neal Cotts and Carlos Marmol are scheduled to throw today. Pignatiello and Cotts are battling for the second lefty spot while Kevin Hart is the leader for the last right handed spot, likely long-relief, in the pen. It will be interesting to see how Hart pitches after being hit on the leg with a comebacker on Friday. For Wood and Marmol….just continue throwing strikes.

Jose Guillen will make his debut today in a Royals uniform and bat 4th.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

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