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Cubs Spring Training Saturday: Clint Frazier Back in Leadoff Spot, Drew Smyly to Debut

The Cubs look to shake off a Friday thumping when they visit the Padres to continue their Cactus League slate this afternoon.

Drew Smyly Chicago Cubs Spring Training
Photo: MLB.com

The Chicago Cubs took a thumping yesterday, losing 17-1 to the Colorado Rockies at Sloan Park. Fortunately for the Cubs, neither the score nor the result matters. For the team’s regulars, it’s all about getting regular playing time to build stamina work into a rhythm before the start of the season. However, Spring Training is a competition for the fringe roster players as they look to impress manager David Ross and vie for Opening Day roster spots.

A Mostly Forgettable Friday

Although the Cubs didn’t provide many fireworks, Friday brought some excitement due to the debut of Japanese slugger Seiya Suzuki.

The Japanese star’s debut didn’t go the way he had hoped, as he struck out in each of his first two at-bats in a Cubs uniform. Unfortunately, the home plate umpire didn’t do him any favors, wringing him up in his very first at-bat on a pitch that looked to be off the plate inside.

Suzuki wasn’t the only Cubs player to struggle. When you lose that badly, it’s a group effort. Alec Mills got scuffed up. The right-hander allowed seven hits, six runs, and two homers in 1.2 innings pitched. Only three of the runs were charged to him, but it was a less-than-stellar performance.

Saturday Setup

Turning our attention to today, the Chicago Cubs take on the San Diego Padres at Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona. First pitch is at 3:10 PM CDT and the game will air on Marquee Sports Network and Bally Sports San Diego.

Clint Frazier is back in the leadoff spot today after providing the only Cubs run with an RBI single in yesterday’s game. He’s hitting a cool .400 so far in 10 at-bats this spring. The way Frazier has looked, along with the team’s surplus of outfielders, could’ve led to Harold Ramirez getting traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. That’s one less outfielder Frazier needs to worry about staving off for regular playing time.

The North Side faithful will also see the spring debut of starting pitcher Drew Smyly. Last year, the left-hander pitched in 29 games for the World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. He finished with a 4.48 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Home runs can cause issues for him, as he gave up 27 bombs with a 1.9 HR/9 in 2021. Keep an eye on how he performs as the starting rotation battle continues.

Here’s a full look at the Cubs’ Saturday lineup:

  1. Clint Frazier LF
  2. Nico Hoerner SS
  3. Patrick Wisdom 1B
  4. Yan Gomes C
  5. Alfonso Rivas DH
  6. Michael Hermosillo RF
  7. Rafael Ortega CF
  8. Ildemaro Vargas 2B
  9. Christopher Morel 3B
  10. Drew Smyly P

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