Technically, I think this might be the Brewers' final Cactus League game. Games played in a major league ballpark (Chase Field tonight and tomorrow) don't count even though they're in Arizona, right? I don't actually know that.
Really, though, this contest will feature most of the Huntsville Stars (the only Brewer minor league team remaining in Arizona) against the Cubs at 2:05. There's no Brewer audio coverage, but you can listen in on WGN via Gameday Audio at Brewers.com.
Follow the jump for today's pitching matchup and lineup, then join us in the comments to discuss today's game!
Travis Wood (17.28 ERA this spring, 4.84/4.06 ERA/FIP in 2011) is making his fifth appearance in his first spring as a Cub after coming over from the Reds in the Sean Marshall trade this winter. He's had a really rough spring to date, allowing 16 earned runs on 18 hits over 8.1 innings. He last pitched against the Padres on March 24, allowing three runs on five hits over 3.2 innings.
Wood is 25 and looking to make his second Opening Day roster: He started the season with the Reds in 2011 but was sent down during the season and spent most of July and August in AAA. He throws a 90 mph fastball with a significant number of cutters and changeups, plus the occasional curve and slider. The changeup was his only plus pitch in 2011 according to FanGraphs.
Wood's worst outing of the spring came against the Brewers on March 14, when he entered the game in relief and retired just one batter while allowing six runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batsman. He pitched well in three outings against the Crew in 2011 as a Red, allowing four runs on eleven hits over 14.1 innings.
He'll face Kyle Heckathorn, who is appearing in a big league game for the first time this spring. He was rated as one of the Brewers' top prospects in 2011 but has lost his luster a bit following a season where he posted a 4.97 ERA between Brevard County and Huntsville.
Here's an excerpt from Heckathorn's entry in John Sickels' 2012 Baseball Prospect Book:
Kyle Heckathorn had problems transitioning to Double-A last year, pitching poorly in five of seven starts and ending the season two weeks early with a trip to the disabled list. He's seen his velocity drop since college. He threw 98-99 MPH at Kennesaw State, earning a supplemental selection in the 2009 draft, but his speed has been trending downwards in pro ball and is in the low 90's now. His slider and changeup have also been erratic, and his control wobbles too often.
Here's today's lineup:
Nyjer Morgan CF
Scooter Gennett 2B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Mat Gamel 1B
Brock Kjeldgaard RF
Khris Davis LF
Andy Gonzalez 3B
Domnit Bolivar SS
Kyle Heckathorn P
Enjoy the game!