Cubs vs. Pirates: Lester vs. Taillon (Game 10)

CHC (2-7): Jon Lester (1-0)

PIT (5-3): Jameson Taillon (0-1)

First pitch 1:20pmCDT

The Cubs arrive at Wrigley with a 2-7 record, the second best team OPS in the NL, and a bunch of journeyman relievers duct taped into the shape of a MLB bullpen.

Lester has performed as expected so far this season. He’s worked 12 innings and allowed 4 earned runs in his two starts. More of the same could be OK if the offense shows up. No Pirates with significant at bats have had much success against him, unless you count Cervelli’s .263/.317/.447 in 38 at bats. 

Jameson Taillon put up a very solid 2018 and is off to a respectable start this season (13 IP, 5 ER, 9K:2BB). He faces a Cubs’ offense that has put up MVP numbers against him (.320/.381/.584) and which has been playing with palpable urgency. Rizzo and Baez have wrecked him to the tune of 1.320 and 1.684 OPS respectively in 39 total at bats. If not for the ceremony of the home opener, Bryant may have gotten the day off to regroup; he’s slashed .143/.200/.429 against the righty.

It’s unseasonably temperate in Chicago for opening day: 63 degrees F around game time. No worries about a rainout for this one (unlike Wednesday and Thursday’s games).

Go Cubs!


ump's zone is crazy wide so far in the 1st...PIT getting a bit angsty.

I'm at work and I can only sneak over to the TV from time-to-time.  What was Lester's injury?  Gameday is lousy on details.

Edit:  Gameday must have heard me complaining.  They updated with a note -- "Cubs pitcher Jon Lester left the game due to an injured leg."  Did it look like he pulled a hammie or something?

Sounds like he felt tightness in his hamstring after running the bases.

Thanks.  And really!?  Geez!  Just what the bullpen needs today.

Whoever put down Descalso for first run scored at Wrigley this season and Lester with first RBI has a pretty nice leg up on the Predictions Contest.

dat pen tho...brach/kintzler/rosario/strop

7ip 4h 2bb 8k, 0r/er this...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Monday scrapped a historic agreement between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed Cuban players to sign with U.S. teams without needing to defect.


The senior Trump administration official suggested that the agreement would have subjected the players to “human trafficking” by the Cuban government, making them “pawns of the Cuba dictatorship.”


I know, no politics here, but damn!

yeah..."sigh" was the best i could do while staying neutral.

lester getting an MRI...damn.

i can't even imagine who is gonna fill in for him if he misses a start (or more).

underwood is on the 40-man, but that is a very weak option.  j.steele is on the 40-man, too, but the majors might be a stretch for him right now.  it might be t.clifton time sooner than later.

Colin Rea is my guess.

Has MLB experience, and options remaining.

It almost certainly would have been Alec Mills if it wasn't that he is at EXST trying to get into game-shape, but the Cubs signed Colin Rea and Christian Bergman (who got released) just for this eventuality, which is to say, an MLB ready SP who can provide a spot start or two until the SP prospects with upside (Robinson, Swarmer, Rucker, Hatch, and Steele) are fully-ready for MLB. Then the Cubs can just DFA Rea when they don't need him anymore, and thank him for his service.  

Chatwood would fill in I am sure.

that could be a slippery slope for a team already maxing out their payroll.  if chatwood gets an all-star selection or gets enough cy young votes his 2020 contract could escalate from 13m to 17m.


seriously, though...ew gross chatwood.

Who will fill in for the pitcher they thought they were getting when they signed Chatwood?  Same with Darvish.

Inevitable April Rain-Out ...

Good news is that the Cubs/Pirates can sitck a make-up game from this week on July 11, the Thursday after the all star break. PIT is in town for that first series (Fr-Sat-Sun) of the symbolic 2nd half. 

Not a totally crappy option. 

Angels are probably screwed though... 

Actually, if an LAA game is cancelled this weekend, I'd probably look for MLB to stick the LAA/Cubs make up on July 11. LAA starts after the break on the road at StL (F-S-S). Not alot of common off-days for LAA & Cubs, especially when LAA is anywhere remotely close to the midwest. 

A rainout during the Angels series could forestall the issue of finding a Lester stand-in.

Lester to the IL. 

"As for a replacement, Maddon praised how Tyler Chatwood is throwing and added he's not sure what the front office's view is at this point regarding a call-up."

can someone hook me up with maddon's weed connection because he's obviously getting some primo stuff...

If not Chatwood, then whom?

i wanted to make a joke moreso than i had actual solutions to the issue.

unless they want to add someone to the 40-man he's probably as good of an option as anyone else considering no one else is an obvious option.  if it's only 1 start needed before lester returns it's probably the most sane option, too.

day off off next off monday following...there's some rest periods in there for heavy pen use and/or 4-man rotation options over the next couple weeks.

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  • crunch 2 hours 54 min ago (view)

    s.souza 1/1m finalized.

    could be up to 3m after performance and non-IL (injury list) incentives.

    it seems he'll be giving rest to schwarb/heyward vs lefties at a minimum.  it will be interesting to see him play OF this spring to see how much distance he can cover (and on back-to-back days).


  • crunch 5 hours 8 min ago (view)

    cubs signing jeremy "smoke 2 joints" jeffress



  • Arizona Phil 6 hours 14 min ago (view)

    Cubs minor leaguers in Mesa are wearing the new Nike jerseys, which look the same as the previous Majestic unis (blue Cubs jersey with red names and numbers outlined in white), except for the Nike "swoosh" insignia on the upper right front of the shirt.


  • Arizona Phil 6 hours 40 min ago (view)

    The "Under Armour Performamce Center" (UAPC) at the Cubs facility in Mesa in now called the "Chicago Cubs Performance Center" (CCPC). All references to Under Armour have disappeared. 


  • Hagsag 14 hours 31 min ago (view)

    It's great to start getting reports from the Instructs. Keep them coming Phil!


  • bradsbeard 20 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Since the deal isn't official, I wonder if the Cubs will wait until camp opens to finalize the deal and then put him on the 60 day IL as soon as it's available (assuming it's a major league deal). That doesn't really make sense in light of their luxury tax maneuvering though. If he's gonna miss a third of the season they'd probably only offer a minor league deal I guess. 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Cory Abbott, Ben Hecht, Ryan Lawlor, and Brailyn Marquez were in a separate group on Field #3, so they may be prepping for NRIs to MLB Spring Training.   


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 29 min ago (view)

    And Max Bain threw (long toss) at Instructs this morning, too. 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 29 min ago (view)

    I can positively confirm that Jerrick Suiter (1B-OF selected by Cubs from Pirates in Minor League Phase of last month';s Rule 5 Draft) is indeed being converted to a RHP. I saw him throw long-toss this morning at Instructs. 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 29 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of LHP Adam Choplick from Southern Maryland (Atlantic League) and he has been assigned to AA Tennessee.

    Choplick was the 14th round draft pick of the Texas Rangers out of the U. of Oklahoma in 2015, and he was released by the Rangers at the end of Spring Training 2019 (never got higher than AA). 

    I saw Choplick throw (long-toss) at Instructs this morning and he is one huge dude (6'9 250+). 


  • crunch 1 day 35 min ago (view)

    the entire cubs offseason has been "wow, this guy was good 2-3 years ago, but didn't play or sucked in recent past."

    houston finished using their trash can and the cubs are rooting around in it looking for players.

    speaking's taken MLB longer to figure out bryant's service time complaint than the entire astros cheating scandal.


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    "Chicago Cubs selected the contract of LHP Adam Choplick from Southern Maryland Blue Crabs."

    okay.  sure.  congrats and good luck.


  • Charlie 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Good for Nick. Good luck to him and the Reds improving his defense. That park should very much play to his offense.

    Interest in Gennett is strange. If you are going to pick up a bench infielder at this point, shouldn't it be someone with SS chops?


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    nick castellanos to the reds, 4/64m...opt out after 1 year.

    meanwhile, on the cubs front...

    "Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports that the Cubs continue to have interest in free agent Scooter Gennett. "



  • Sonicwind75 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    There seemed to be a least an tacit understanding between ownership and fans during the rebuild that we as fans should support the organization when it was intentionally underspending and tanking. When it was time to be competitive, you know when the greatest core of Cubs players in my lifetime are in their prime, ownership would make the most of that window. That doesn't appear to be the case with the team shedding around $40 million in salary. 


  • crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    in all honesty, the team is spending a healthy amount that i only jokingly complain was not just fans talking about the extra perks the new revenue streams and tv contract would open.  it was ownership and front office at points in the past bringing it up.