Powell: Live from Spring Training

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Cubs/Mets NLCS Game 3 (Sam Panayotovich/WGN Radio)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. —  Good morning from Scottsdale. I’ll be in Arizona all week to give you updates live from Cubs and White Sox camps. Today I’ll head to Mesa to cover the Cubs. Here’s a few things I’ll be keeping an eye on:

— Jake Arrieta gets his second start of the spring today, and he’ll try and follow up a perfect two innings from his debut. Arrieta says he’s in great shape and the ball is coming out of his hand with minimal effort. He’ll skip a Cactus League start Saturday, and will instead throw in a minor-league game. It’s all part of he and manager Joe Maddon’s master plan to keep the reigning NL Cy Young winner fresh down the stretch this season. Arrieta faces the Padres today at 3p CT.

— The buzz in Chicago and really throughout the entire league this spring has been the Cubs. Whether it’s Maddon driving his 70’s van on to the field, Kawasaki karaoke, live guitar sessions during warmups or tying  up and blindfolding strength coach Tim Buss to a chair, this team has been the talk of the league. It seems like there’s a viral video coming out of their camp every few days. We’ll keep you posted.

— It’s been hard to find any glaring holes on this Cubs roster. But the one main question has been: How do you rotate a surplus of talent in the outfield? And for me: How will the back end of the rotation hold up?

1. A surplus of talent is never a bad thing, and if anyone can figure it out, it’s Joe Maddon. It’ll be fun to see how he tinkers with the lineup every day. But it’s a good problem to have when you’re trying to figure out where to put guys like Heyward, Schwarber, Soler and Fowler every day.

2. I’m not as comfortable with the starting rotation as some, but the good news is the Cubs have guys that could be stretched out for spot starts when needed. Whether it’s Clayton Richard, Adam Warren, Trevor Cahill or Travis Wood, one of them should be able to fill for Kyle Hendricks or Jason Hammel until the trade deadline.

Those are some of the things I’ll have in mind this week. I’ll keep you posted on any further developments throughout the day…live from the Cubs camp.

*I’ll be on every day this week with Steve Cochran, Bill and Wendy, Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes, and Justin Kaufmann. Check my twitter for updates/photos/blogs: @kpowell720 or @WGNRadioSports

**I’ll head to Glendale tomorrow to give you full White Sox Coverage.

*** And of course, I’m looking forward to sampling all the food at Sloan Park! Stay tuned for photo blogs and reviews.***

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