Cubs Vs. Diamondbacks Preview: Ryan Dempster, Alfonso Soriano Try To Keep Hot Against Arizona

The Chicago Cubs (6-5) take on the Arizona Diamondbacks (3-9) and the Colorado Rockies (6-6) during today's split squad action in the 2012 Cactus League preseason.

The Cubs will send RHP Ryan Dempster to the mound, sporting an impressive 1.80 ERA through his early spring training action. Dempster -- who has become the Cubs' workhorse starter -- had a rough season in 2011, sporting a 4.80 ERA and 3.91 FIP through 202.1 IP. The Cubs are hoping that Dempster's ERA can rebound in 2011 with a stronger defensive alignment that includes the likes of RF David DeJesus and 3B Ian Stewart.

Also looking to keep his hot streak going, LF Alfonso Soriano (4 HR, 1.941 OPS this spring) gets the start today in the No. 4 hole. Soriano leads the team and the majors in home runs this spring and has the best OPS among players with at least 10 at bats -- all after hitting only .244/.289/.469 in 2011.

Here's a look at Thursday's broadcast information and lineups:

Game Time: 3:05 PM CDT / 3:05 PM CDT (home/away)

Locations: HoHoKam Park (home) / Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (away)

Broadcast: MLB.com (radio) / MLB.com (radio)

Lineup (Diamondbacks game):

RF Reed Johnson
CF Marlon Byrd
SS Starlin Castro
LF Alfonso Soriano
1B Jeff Baker
C Geovany Soto
2B Darwin Barney
3B Josh Vitters
P Ryan Dempster

Lineup (Rockies game):

RF David DeJesus
2B Blake DeWitt
3B Adrian Cardenas
1B Bryan LaHair
CF Joe Mather
LF Brett Jackson
C Welington Castillo
SS Junior Lake
P Rodrigo Lopez

For more on the offseason, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation. To keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.

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