3/4 Cubs Cactus League opener
The Cubs kick off the Cactus League season on Sunday facing the Athletics at HoHoKam Park. There is no TV broadcast but fans can listen to Len Kasper do the radio broadcast on Cubs.com, starting at 2 p.m. CT.
“To be able to face somebody in another uniform, this is what it’s all about and it’s time,” Dale Sveum said Sunday. “We know there’s one more step left and it’s Opening Day. Now we have Opening Day of Spring Training and we have something to look foward to 30 days from now. Guys have put in a great effort preparing for this. Now it’s time to sit back and let them play and watch them do what they can do.
“It’s nice for me now to where I get to see a lot of in-game situations,” Sveum said. “You can only watch so much batting practice and ground balls and bullpens. Now it’s time to see what they can do against another team.”
The Cubs begin the season with 15 new players on the 40-man roster since the end of last season. Of the 39 players on the Cubs’ 40-man, 24 have three or fewer years of service time in the Majors. Rodrigo Lopez, fighting for a spot in the rotation, will start on Sunday. Ryan Dempster will pitch Monday against the A’s at HoHoKam, Matt Garza on Tuesday against the Rockies, Jeff Samardzija on Wednesday in Surprise against the Royals, and Chris Volstad on Thursday against the Mariners in Mesa.
— Carrie Muskat