Duensing to DL, Szczur and La Stella in
Things have a way of working out on their own. Left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing will start the season on the disabled list with a back issue, allowing the Cubs to keep Matt Szczur and Tommy La Stella in the dugout on opening night. The Cubs will start the year with 12 pitchers—Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Brett Anderson, Kyle Hendricks comprise the starting rotation to start the year. Wade Davis is the closer with Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, Carl Edwards Jr, Koji Uehara and Mike Montgomery rounding out the bullpen. Willson Contreras and Miguel Montero will share the catching duties. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and La Stella round out the infield while Jason Heyward, Albert Almora, Jon Jay, Kyle Schwarber and Szczur will roam the outfield.
Cubs slam A’s
Kyle Schwarber hit two homers and Albert Almora clubbed a grand slam as the Cubs beat Oakland 15-11 in the Cactus League finale.
Willson Contreras hit his team-high sixth homer and Victor Caratini went 2-for-5 with three RBI. Carlos Penalver slugged a pair of doubles and knocked in two runs, getting the start at short. Other Cubs prospects playing were Chris Pieters (0-1, R BB), Trey Martin (0-1, 2 R, BB), Taylor Davis (2-2, 2 R), Ian Happ (1-3, RBI), John Andreoli (0-3), Stephen Bruno (0-1, R), Chesny Young (1-2).
John Lackey cruised through the first two frames but gave up two runs in the third and got knocked out in the fourth, ending his final spring start with a line of 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. James Pugliese allowed two inherited runners to score and gave up three more before the frame was over. Koji Uehara, Justin Grimm and Carl Edwards Jr. all threw an inning of relief. Rob Zastryzny fanned three over the final two scoreless innings.