The Cubs are scheduled for a rare night game Monday as they head to Goodyear to face the Reds, but the weather could be a factor. After several days of bright sunshine and mid-90s temps, the clouds have moved in and the rain has been falling in the Phoenix metro area throughout the afternoon as winds pick up. The forecast calls for the rain to be over before first pitch, so we’ll see.
Marcus Stroman is on the mound for the third time and has gone the deepest of any Cubs starter to this point, so expect him to try to log five innings in this one. The Reds have what looks like a regular-season lineup and they aren’t total pushovers in spite of management’s tanking attempts, so this could have the feel of a legit game for at least the first half.
Clint Frazier has looked good this spring as he tries to bounce back from a rocky season with the Yankees in which he battled post-concussion symptoms, and he’ll be leading off in left field. Jason Heyward is in center, Jonathan Villar is at third, and Yan Gomes cleans up behind the plate. Nico Hoerner is the shortstop, Alfonso Rivas is at first, and Michael Hermosillo is in right.
Ildemaro Vargas is the second baseman and slugging phenom Alexander Canario gets the start as the DH. Canario came in as the No. 15 hitter in our annual prospect rankings after tearing it up at South Bend when he was promoted there in August. One of the two players the Cubs got from San Francisco in the Kris Bryant trade, Canario is an excellent athlete who is not going to get cheated when he cuts that swing loose.
As much as I dislike the way things ended with the Cubs trading Bryant and others away, it’s hard to argue with the value they got back in the form of Canario and Caleb Kilian.
First pitch is at 8:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.