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Athletics vs. Cubs, Cactus League Schedule: 2011 Spring Training Opener At HoHoKam Stadium In Mesa

The Oakland Athletics roll out their revamped lineup as they kick off their 2011 Cactus League schedule with a road game against the Chicago Cubs. This game represents the Spring Training opener for both teams. Trevor Cahill and Carlos Zambrano will square off for at least a couple innings before giving way to an assortment of pitchers. The game is scheduled for 12:05pm pacific and can be heard live on’s Gameday Audio.

The A’s will be rolling out some of their new bats, but will be going with a lot of returning position players in their opener. Hideki Matsui and David DeJesus will not be starting today’s game, but recently acquired outfielder Josh Willingham will get his first cuts against opposing pitchers.

Andy LaRoche is a guy worth keeping an eye on early in camp. Although he’s a non-roster invitee, LaRoche is a guy who received a ton of hype early in his career. He never lived up to the hype and is just looking to figure out his baseball future at this point. Kevin Kouzmanoff isn’t exactly an offensive rock at third base so a strong camp from LaRoche could earn him a roster spot.

Bob Geren’s lineup is as follows:

1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Daric Barton, 1B
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Kurt Suzuki, DH
5. Andy LaRoche, 3B
6. Matt Carson, RF
7. Landon Powell, C
8. Eric Sogard, SS
9. Steve Tolleson, 2B

The Cubs will be going without a designated hitter and send out this lineup:

1. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
2. Starlin Castro, SS
3. Marlon Byrd, CF
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Carlos Pena, 1B
6. Alfonso Soriano, LF
7. Geovany Soto, C
8. Blake DeWitt, 2B
9. Carlos Zambrano, P