Cubs @ Marlins: Lester vs Urena (Game 1!)

CHC (0-0): LHP Jon Lester (0-0, -.--)
MIA (0-0): RHP José Ureña (0-0, -.--)
First pitch: 11:40amCST

Opening morning baseball!

Lester (13-8, 4.33 in 2017) is the first out of the gate for a strong Cubs rotation. He’s looking to improve on what we hope was just a down year and not the new normal or the beginning of a decline. He went 6-5 with a 4.41 on the road in 2017. Equally meh. Prado is 7-16 against him. Realmuto is 3-8 with a HR.

Urena (14-7, 3.82) went 2-0 with a 2.45 against the Cubs last year. Overall, they are 10-38 (.263) against him. Our new lead-off man, Happ, is 3-5 with a HR. That’d be a nice way to start the season.

Tomorrow is Hendricks and Smith at 6:10pmCST.

Go Cubs!


Have fun with your live feeds, everyone else. I'll be watching this one after the work day. Looking forward to the Lester vs. Gordon matchups.


pretty much as-expected...

marlins lineup... who/huh/castro/bour/umm/uhh/okay/what/urena

Jon won’t have to worry about Realmuto: he’s on the DL

Patrick Mooney posted on Twitter that Chris Coghlan has signed a minor league contract and is in Extended S.T.. Al Yellon was right!

cards sign g.holland 1/14

he's supposedly in game shape and shouldn't take too long to join them.

Nice to see Schwarber has improved his OF defense.  Nearly kills himself crashing into the wall, then plays a routine sinlge into a triple. Sheesh.

After all the personal tutoring and attention and the lost weight, the routes still suck, and so do OF fundamentals. Hopefully he wins more games with his bat.

turrible stuff so far. the wind is a bit heavy, but he's going to see that more than just today.

I personally never thought Wreck-It Ralph was a good choice to help Schwarber with his defense. I think Theo missed on that one.

Feels like the Schwarber working hard to improve his defense falls into the same results as Heyward working hard to retool his swing.  Some things are what they are. 

I can't think of any MLB player who ever spent an offseason working to improve outfield defense (when they hadn't played outfield prior to the major leagues) who noticeably improved. I think you either have speed and a lot of reps or you don't.

I hope Lester enjoyed his last Opening Day start.

Seconded. As our "number one" pitcher slides back to a number four (give or take one).

Not seconding. Did you see the Schwarber inning? It made him pitch another 10-15 pitches cause doofus is out of position and crashes into a wall, then makes a terrible play on a single that goes to the wall. Also in the inning, a slow roller has to be barehanded, and a ground ball dribbler splits Ss and 2nd with the inf pulled in causing a run to score. Its his first outing and inside he is fucking SEETHING inside his head about why he has to have All-Thumbs in LF for his defense today. He is still a beast. But not the Ace of this staff for sure.

E-Man -- I'm confused. You agree he is no longer the best pitcher on the staff, but you don't "second" the notion that this should be his last Opening Day start. What gives? No help from the defense, for sure, but he was a long way from sharp.

Don't want to speak for E-Man but I would say opening day can be more of an honor of past accomplishments than a reflection of who the current ace of the staff is. Usually it is one and the same but doesn't have to be. In the grand scheme of 162 games, who starts day one versus day 4 is rather insignificant. We already saw last post season when Hendricks started Game 1 of the playoffs over Lester that Lester is no longer the "ace" of the staff. If Lester has another strong season and continues to be a team leader I could see him starting opening day next year while not being the staff ace.

Yeah, that makes sense to me. However, if I had to bet on how the starters will rank in performance for the year, I would be hard-pressed to put Lester higher than 4th and could easily see putting him 5th. But, this is a great problem to have.

Going back to the “triple”, someone on the Cubs bench had him playing WAY too short considering the dude is a solid power hitter. Its not like he’s Jim Fucking Edmonds. 

Schwarbs gets one back. Only -1 now. Good forbyou dude!

cubs win the opener vs some AAA team. 2 more vs that embarrassment of a team before they go play real baseball.

3 more.

oh good. special torture. i mean, easy wins are neat (even if the cubs end up losing some), but that crap they're fielding in MIA is an insult to the game.

Crap opponent, Lester pitching & Schwarb defensive struggles aside -- thoroughly enjoyed the opener!

Rizzo going yard satisfying on many levels. And how about the bullpen locking it down - schweet!

it turned out better than i thought it would after the top 1st. HR on the 1st pitch, 3 HBP batters, walks...etc... i wouldnt have been shocked to see the cubs win by 10+ runs.

not even 8pm (EST) on opening day and there's already 2 extra innings games...nice.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   


  • JustSayin' 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.


  • Hagsag 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 


  • JustSayin' 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.


  • crunch 4 days 9 min ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.


  • crunch 6 days 16 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 6 days 22 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in may happen in late might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 1 week 49 min ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 1 week 22 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 


  • Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.


  • Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   


  • jdrnym 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.


  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."