Game Preview: Cubs (19-23) @ Rangers (24-18)
First things first:
Earlier this afternoon, the Cubs officially signed 36-year-old Bob Howry, demoted Justin Berg to Iowa, and designated David Patton for assignment.
Howry has been well analyzed here and elsewhere, but just in case you've missed it...
The now-ex-former-Cub appeared in 14 games for the Diamondbacks before his recent release, was scored upon in 8, and was cut loose by the D-Backs with an ERA of 10.67 and 6 home runs allowed in just 14 1/3 innings pitched. He was coming off a decent season last year in San Francisco, where he had a 3.39 ERA, a 2:1 K/BB ratio, and allowed fewer home runs in 63 IP (5) than he did in just a few weeks this season in Arizona. (Park effects at work, both ways, maybe?)
As for the game tonight...
The Cubs open the interleague portion of their 2010 schedule—which matches them with teams from the A.L West in addition to the home-and-home series with the White Sox—in Arlington, Texas against the AL West-leading Rangers. A coming home for Marlon Byrd and Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.
The teams have met six times before, with the Rangers winning four of the six.
Since interleague play began 13 years ago, the Cubs are 90-97 against AL clubs. They have not had a winning interleague record since '07.
Fukudome 9, Theriot 4, Lee 3, Soriano 7, Byrd 8, Fontenot 5, Nady DH, Soto 2, Castro 6
Aramis Ramirez sits again, and if I'm reading Baseball-Reference.com correctly, Soriano is hitting clean-up for the first time ever as a Cub.
Andrus 6, Young 5, Kinsler 4, Guerrero DH, Hamilton 8, Cruz 9, Murphy 7, Smoak 3, M. Ramirez 2
Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.65) v. Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.68)
Lewis is winless in his last four starts, though mixed in there was a damn impressive ND against Cliff Lee and the Mariners, in which Lewis blanked Seattle for 9 innings in a game the Rangers ultimately won in 12 innings, 2-0. Overall, Lewis has gotten Cub-like support from his mates, who have scored just four runs for him in his last 27 innings pitched.
Lilly is coming off an ND against the Pirates (7IP, 6H, 3ER). He last pitched against the Rangers when the Cubs were in Texas back on June 21, 2007. In that game, Lilly spotted the Rangers a 5-0 lead but the Cubs came back to tie the game at 5-5 with a rally of their own. Lilly wound up with an ND and the Cubs wound up with a loss when Frank Catalanotto smacked a run-scoring, game-winning, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth against...
Among Cub regulars, only Marlon Byrd (4 AB's) and Alfonso Soriano (7 AB's) have ever faced Lewis. Soriano is 4-for-7 against him with three singles and a double, all when Fonsie was a Yankee.
The Rangers haven't seen much of Lilly either. Vlad Guerrero is 3-for-11 with 3K's (though 2 HR) against the Cub lefty and Ian Kinsler is just 2-for-9.
The Rangers have won six in a row at home and are 11-1 in Arlington in the month of May. The Cubs have lost 11 of the last 12 games they've played on AL fields.
Hey Lester is left handed!
Probably a good idea to give Rizz a couple of days off (slumps happen to the best -- Harper just broke a 4-for-33 with a HR yesterday). Never been a big fan of an all-RH lineup. The pitcher has the same look and same target for every hitter. At least, as a mediocre HS pitcher, facing a mixture of LH/RH hitters messed me up. A lack of talent and weak-ass stuff may have also been contributing factors.
Would you say Brooks doesn't have any upside going forward? Seems like he could be one of those hybrid starter reliever types maddon seems to like having in his bullpen. But I haven't seen a ton of him, and he got hit around pretty good last year in mlb
I've been wracking my brain to work a "Room With a View" reference in there but I just haven't gotten it to work.
Bryant might be playing SS during an infield shift, no? Usually he is moved to 2B but it could happen.
I won't really be happy until I see Bryant at shortstop.
Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.
Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.
South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.
Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.
Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.
The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.
Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.
HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.
However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.
E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader.
PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?
Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.
Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.