Today on CSN: Cubs-Indians commercial-free

Today on CSN: Cubs-Indians commercial-free
March 16, 2014, 9:00 am
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Tony Andracki

Comcast SportsNet continues its weekend festivities Sunday afternoon by airing the Cubs-Indians game commercial-free. The special broadcast begins at 3 p.m.

[RELATED: Cubs send Kyle Hendricks to minor-league camp]

Instead of commercials, CSN will air several features throughout the game, including interviews with top prospect Kris Bryant, new manager Rick Renteria and a group of other players including pitchers Jason Hammel, Chris Rusin and Edwin Jackson.


Here's how the Cubs will line up against the Indians, with 2013 All-Star Travis Wood on the mound.

1. Emilio Bonifacio - SS
2. Junior Lake - CF
3. Luis Valbuena - 2B
4. Mike Olt - DH
5. John Baker - C
6. Ryan Roberts - 1B
7. Chris Valaika - 3B
8. Josh Vitters - LF
9. Brett Jackson - RF

Back on track

Meanwhile, Anthony Rizzo hit his first two home runs of the spring Saturday. The first was a long blast off Mets ace Bartolo Colon.

Rizzo started off his spring 8-for-21 (.385 average), but hadn't left the yard until Saturday's contest.

Position battles

Most of the depth-chart issues have been resolved for the Cubs, but there are still a couple of positions open for business.

Olt is making a case for the starting third base gig, which is the ideal situation for the Cubs as it would allow prospect Christian Villanueva to play third base full-time at Iowa and Bryant to get time at the hot corner in Double-A Tennessee.

[MORE: Nate Schierholtz caught in middle of Cubs rebuild]

Olt is battling utility guys Valbuena and Donnie Murphy for the third base gig and if the 25-year-old slugger wins the job, it would allow the Cubs to move the pair of veterans to super-sub roles.

At second base, Bonifacio's presence in the lineup has pushed incumbent Darwin Barney. Bonifacio provides an ideal top-of-the-order option with his speed and on-base skills. But, Bonifacio can play just about any position on the field, with extensive experience at all three outfield spots as well as third base and shortstop (which he's playing Sunday).

The Cubs also have yet to announce a fifth starter with Chris Rusin and James McDonald duking it out. Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs' pitching prospect closest to the big leagues, was sent down to minor-league camp Saturday.

In-game features

-- Gold glove second baseman Darwin Barney takes us onto the field to detail how he plays the position, what he does to the dirt for both he and Starlin Castro each inning in the hopes of turning a double play, and how he positions himself for some of the National League's toughest hitters.

-- All-Star starter Travis Wood didn't just have success on the mound in 2013...he was also the best power-hitting pitcher a season ago. Wood takes us in the batter's box to describe why he's had success at the plate and why last year's grand slam against the White Sox is one he will never forget.

-- Plus, how do the Cubs relax after a tough day of prepping for the season? Well, it’s a game of H.O.R.S.E. that works for Anthony Rizzo, top prospect Javier Baez and outfielder Ryan Sweeney.