Share This Page

Previewing Thursday's Pirates-Cubs game

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 7:24 p.m.

X-factors

Pirates beat reporterRob Biertempfel's inside look at Thursday's game:

• Last season, ex-Cubs RHP Carlos Marmol was removed from the closer's role after three outings. Jose Veras has held onto the job longer this year, but his grip is not firm. After a rocky spring training, Veras yielded three runs and six walks over his first three outings this season. There were groans among fans at Wrigley Field when Veras took the mound Tuesday, although he tossed a clean inning against the Pirates.

• Cubs SS Starlin Castro was moved up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup Wednesday against LHP Wandy Rodriguez, but the move probably is not permanent. In the previous three games, Castro, a righty batter, banged out seven hits while batting sixth, and he could go back to that spot Thursday against RHP Gerrit Cole.

The Buzz

Cubs OF Junior Lake, who has not yet started a game against a right-hander, told ESPN.com he's frustrated over his lack of playing time. “I don't see the difference, righty or lefty,” Lake said. “It doesn't matter.” Last year, Lake hit .377 vs. LHPs and .251 vs. RHPs.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.