Here are the starting lineups for Sunday’s Opening Night game between the Cardinals and Cubs …
St. Louis Cardinals
3B Matt Carpenter
RF Jason Heyward
LF Matt Holliday
SS Jhonny Peralta
1B Matt Adams
C Yadier Molina
2B Kolten Wong
CF Jon Jay
SP Adam Wainwright
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Jorge Soler
1B Anthony Rizzo
SS Starlin Castro
LF Chris Coghlan
C David Ross
3B Mike Olt
SP Jon Lester
2B Tommy La Stella
Peralta batting cleanup instead of Adams is somewhat of a surprise, but otherwise this is a predictable look for the visiting Cardinals and manager Mike Matheny. Cubs manager Joe Maddon threw a bunch of wrenches into his lineup — from Soler batting second, to Castro batting cleanup, to Lester hitting eighth, to Ross starting over Miguel Montero at catcher against a righty. It seems Lester may already have a personal catcher in Chicago.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. First pitch at Wrigley Field is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.
Jake Peavy struggled badly in his final two Cactus League starts, yielding 13 runs — 11 earned — over just 6 2/3 total innings. So the Giants are considering delaying his first appearance of the regular season so that he can try to iron some things out on the side.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM on Sunday morning that Ryan Vogelsong — who was projected to open 2015 in long relief — could start against the Diamondbacks in Peavy’s place this Tuesday night. Peavy would then take the sixth game of the regular season against the Padres, giving the Giants a temporary six-man rotation.
Peavy agreed to a two-year, $24 million free agent contract with the Giants this past winter after posting a brilliant 2.17 ERA across 78 2/3 innings last season for San Francisco. The 33-year-old right-hander had a 4.72 ERA in 124 innings with Boston before the July 2014 trade that sent him out west.
The Indians just signed ace Corey Kluber to a five-year extension. And they’re not stopping there …
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Tribe are in agreement on a new deal for right-handed starter Carlos Carrasco. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports says it’s a three-year contract with two club options and will carry around $22 million in guaranteed money.
Carrasco is due to make $2.34 million in 2015 — his first year of arbitration-eligibility. This extension buys out his remaining two arbitration years and at least one year of free agency at what sounds like a pretty team-friendly rate.
The 28-year-old Venezuelan emerged as a potential co-ace to Kluber in 2014, posting a 1.49 ERA and 110 strikeouts over his final 102 2/3 innings after initially being shifted back and forth between the bullpen and rotation. He’ll start Cleveland’s second regular-season game against Scott Feldman and the Astros.
Via Jason Beck, the Tigers beat writer for MLB.com …
Rondon came down with some biceps tendinitis at the end of spring training and also battled some neck discomfort in early March. Neither are serious injuries, but the hard-throwing reliever is on his way back from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and was unable to pitch on back-to-back days this spring. The hope is that he’ll be ready to join the Tigers’ bullpen next week. This disabled list stint is retroactive to March 28.
Chase Utley has said many times before that he wants to finish out his contract with the Phillies — a contract that runs through 2018 via some rather complicated vesting options. But with Philly entering full rebuilding mode, might the 36-year-old second baseman begin to reconsider that stance?
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe dropped this nugget in his Sunday notes column …
The feeling among some baseball executives is that Utley will eventually give in to a deal as the losing escalates in Philly. Utley, who has a no-trade clause, could be attracted to West Coast teams such as LA (both teams), San Francisco, or Oakland. He’s still a good player who could make an impact.
Utley batted .270/.339/.407 with 11 home runs and 78 RBI in 155 games last season for the Phillies.
The six-time All-Star has 10-and-5 rights, so he holds veto power on any potential move.