A's prospects set for spring opener vs. Cubs

Chapman to start at third base; Barreto also making trip

A's prospects set for spring opener vs. Cubs

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's won't exactly be easing into spring game action, readying instead to face the defending World Series champion Cubs on the road on Saturday (12:05 p.m. PT, live on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio).

A's manager Bob Melvin wants many of his younger players to experience the hoopla that will accompany the expected festivities, even going so far as starting one of them, with Matt Chapman getting the nod at third base.

"That's one of the reasons a guy like Matt Chapman is in the lineup," Melvin said. "I want them to see what's going on over there tomorrow. It should be exciting."

Behind starter Jesse Hahn, who is making a bid for the fifth rotation spot, the A's will field a lineup featuring new leadoff man Rajai Davis followed by shortstop Marcus Semien, right fielder Matt Joyce, left fielder Mark Canha, designated hitter Stephen Vogt, Chapman, first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Adam Rosales and catcher Bruce Maxwell.

Among the many Minor Leaguers making the trip is the club's top prospect, shortstop Franklin Barreto. Chapman is ranked as Oakland's fourth-best prospect.

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"It's nice for some of the younger guys," Melvin said, "because you don't get that type of day typically in Spring Training.

"Just kind of elevates scenarios they haven't been in before. I'm guessing the World Series trophy will show up there, too. Just a lot of excitement, and Spring Training games you typically don't get that."

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Behind Hahn, a slew of pitchers are expected to see action, including fifth-starter candidates Raul Alcantara, Ross Detwiler, Chris Smith and Bobby Wahl.

The Cubs' tentative lineup is dominated by regulars: Jason Heyward, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and former A's Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell are all included. Left-hander Mike Montgomery, who secured the final out in Chicago's World Series Game 7 victory over the Indians, gets the start.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.