Rain forces reshuffling of pitching plans

Rain forces reshuffling of pitching plans

MESA, Ariz. -- Rain canceled both of the Cubs' split-squad games on Sunday.

The Cubs were to play host to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Mesa and also travel to Phoenix to face the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Neither game will be made up.

The Cubs tweaked their pitching for Monday's game against the Oakland Athletics. Ryan Dempster, coming off an 11-9 season and 3.65 ERA last season, will start, his first game in the Cactus League. He will be followed by Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall. The latter three are competing for the two openings in the Cubs rotation along with veteran Carlos Silva.

"Let these guys compete and let's leave here with the best starting staff that we can," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We have four candidates for two jobs -- we have the two left-handers, Gorzelanny and Marshall, and we have the two right-handers, Samardzija and Silva. Let's leave with the best starting staff that we can and then look at the bullpen."

Mike Fontenot, who has not played for the last three days because of a strained right shoulder, was expected back in the Cubs lineup at second base.

Anyone who purchased a ticket to Sunday's game in Mesa via www.cubs.com or by phone via 1-800-905-3315 will be automatically refunded to his or her credit card.

Tickets purchased through the HoHoKam box office may be returned for a refund by April 15 in person at the stadium box office or through the mail by sending the tickets to:

P.O. Box 261
Mesa, AZ 85211

That applies to both season tickets or tickets purchased by an individual.

For more information, call the HoHoKam box office at 480-964-4467 or send an e-mail to info2010@mesahohokams.com.

This was the first time the Cubs were rained out at HoHoKam Park since March 11, 2006, against Kansas City.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.