Wood, Samardzija to start Cactus games

MESA, AZ. – Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum announced his starting pitchers for the first two games of the 2013 Cactus League season.

“Travis Wood will throw the first game then Jeff Samardzija will throw the second game,” Sveum said Saturday afternoon.

The Cubs open their exhibition schedule on Feb. 23 against the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe, Ariz., then play their home opener the next day against the world champion San Francisco Giants.

Wood was 6-13 with a 4.27 ERA last season and is fighting for a spot in the rotation, while Samardzija was 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA in his first year as a starter.

Sveum also announced the Cubs would play two intrasquad games at Hohokam Park on Feb. 21 and 22 in advance of the start of the Cactus League.

Jesse Rogers covers the Cubs for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.