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Cubs unveil Opening Day lineup
The Cubs are previewing Thursday’s opener on Friday with a lineup manager Dale Sveum said “is probably about what it’ll look like on Opening Day.”
Here’s the lineup:
RF David DeJesus (L)
2B Darwin Barney
SS Starlin Castro
1B Bryan LaHair (L)
LF Alfonso Soriano
3B Ian Stewart (L)
CF Marlon Byrd
C Geovany Soto
P Ryan Dempster
DeJesus has had a poor spring but has a career track record that suggests he’s the most qualified leadoff guy in the starting lineup. And Sveum said Barney – who’s had a huge camp – could see leadoff time against lefties.
“He’s swung the bat better than anybody in camp,” Sveum said of Barney earning a key spot in the order. “He’s driven the ball. He’s done everything. From looking on the other side of the fence last year, to me he’s a different person than what I saw playing against him – his strength, the way he’s pulling the ball, the way he’s letting the bat go. You don’t see the same guy just filleting stuff to right field. He’s driving the ball consistently, he’s hitting velocity, he’s doing a really good job.”
Barney takes a .450 (18-for-40) spring average into Friday’s game, with eight doubles and a triple.
Sveum liked what he saw in Kerry Wood’s five-pitch return to the mound Thursday after an 11-day layoff and plans to pitch him just once more, probably for an inning, before the opener.
“Everything went great [Thursday], so that was nice to see, Sveum said.