Chicago Cubs manager David Ross has named his starter for the first game of the team’s Cactus League schedule, with Marcus Stroman getting the ball in Saturday’s contest against the San Francisco Giants.
Ross also announced that Adrian Sampson, one of the hurlers competing for a rotation spot in Mesa, will pitch after Stroman in the contest at Sloan Park.
Stroman, who signed a free agent deal with the Cubs prior to the 2022 campaign, posted a 6-7 record and a 3.50 ERA in his first season, starting 25 games. He struck out 119 batters and walked 36 in 138.2 innings.
In all likelihood, he will be the team’s Opening Day starter, with Kyle Hendricks on the mend. Jameson Taillon is probably the other main contender.
Sampson is one of three pitchers with the best shot at nailing down the Cubs’ fifth-starter position, joining Hayden Wesneski and Javier Assad in that group.
In 21 appearances last season, including 19 starts, Sampson had a 4-5 record and a 3.11 ERA in 104.1 innings pitched, with 73 strikeouts to his credit.
The Cubs will kick off their Cactus League schedule on Saturday when they take on the San Francisco Giants at Sloan Park in Mesa. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Central time, and the game will air on Marquee Sports Network.
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