Cubs vs. Diamondbacks: Darvish vs. Greinke (Game 19)

CHC (9-9): RHP Yu Darvish (1-2, 6.11 ERA)
ARZ (10-10): RHP Zack Greinke (2-1, 5.79 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT

Yesterday's win brought the record to .500. The division standings now resemble pre-season expectations, with the top four teams within 2.5 games of each other.

Darvish looked much improved in his fourth start, going 5.1 IP and striking out 8. Still, he walked 4 and has allowed 4 homeruns in 17.2 IP this season. His stuff has been fairly electric all season. He'll continue to work on his command coming off his mostly lost 2018. There's not a lot of history against Darvish on the Diamondbacks' roster, but they've been a little below average against righties this year.

Zack Greinke's ERA still bears the burden of his opening day loss, in which he allowed 4 HR in only 3.2 IP. His three starts since have been much better, and last time out he went 7 innings for the win. A number of current Cubs have succeeded against Greinke in limited exposure, with a team slash of .311/.354/.467 against him in 90 ABs. Heyward, however, is 3-18 with 6 strikeouts and may find himself getting a rest.

It looks like the wind will still be blowing in off the lake for the game, albeit with a bit less violence than yesterday. Hold onto your hats.


this game is dildos.


Dildos are much more fun than this game was.


people are looking at me weird, i gotta go.

The Cubs have recalled RHP Alec Mills from AAA Iowa, and placed LHRP Randy Rosario on the 10-day IL. Mills was actually recalled to the Cubs MLB Taxi Squad yesterday, which is why RHP Ryan Williams was activated by AAA Iowa prior to yesterday's game. It's likely that Mills will "piggy-back" with Tyler Chatwood (if necessary), and then be optioned back to Iowa tomorrow.  


A club can recall a player from a minor league Optional Assignment and place the player on its "Taxi Squad" for one day. If the player is not added to his club's MLB Active List by 3 PM (Eastern) the next day or at least three hours prior to the scheduled start of the next day's game (whichever is later), the player must be removed from the Taxi Squad and returned to his minor league assignment. A player on the Taxi Squad does not count against his club's MLB Active List or the minor league affiliate's active roster, and the player does not accrue MLB Service Time while on the Taxi Squad. The most common reasons to recall a player and place him on the Taxi Squad is when a club is considering whether to place a player on the Injured List (or other MLB inactive list) but has not yet decided, or if a trade is imminent but has not yet been consummated.

The Rosario move has been changed to an Optional Assignment to Iowa, and Rosario will not count against the Iowa 25-man active roster until he physically reports to the team (he has 72 hours to report).  

Also, Rasario can be recalled without spending the full ten days on Optional Assignment if he replaces a player on the Cubs MLB 25-man roster who goes on an MLB inactive list (IL, Paternity, Bereavement, etc), which he could not do if he was on the 10-day IL. 

One other thing about Rosario is that the Cubs don't have to concern themselves with "protecting" Rosario's last minor league option year, because it's a fourth minor league option, and it disappears next season whether it's used this year or not. So even if Rosario does not use a minor league option this season, he will be out of minor league options next season anyway. (That also applies to Alec Mills). 

RHRP Tony Barnette goes to AAA Iowa on an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment. Barnette last threw (one inning - ten pitches - 1-2-3) at EXST on Thursday. 

Remember that for players on an MLB injured list, the player must agree to a minor league rehab assignment, and the player gets to decide where he goes and how long he stays. Also, a player on an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment does - NOT - count aganist the minor league affiliate's active roster limit, and there is no limit on how many players on an MLB IL can be assigned on an Article XIX-C Rehab Assignment with any one affiliate. However, Extended Spring Training is - NOT - considered to be a Minor League Rehab Assignment. And the maximum number of days a player can spend on a Minor League Rehab Assignment (30 days for pitchers and 20 days for position players) is not affected by the player moving from one affiliate to another during the course of the rehab assignment. 

It's quite different for players on a minor league injured list (including a player on an MLB 40-man roster who is on an Optional Assignment to the minors). The MLB club gets to dictate to the the player where he goes and how long he stays (subject to the 30- day lmit for pitchers and 20-day limit for position players). However, a player on a full season affiliate's IL can - ONLY - be sent to Extended Spring Training for rehab (and again, with no time limit because EXST is not considered to be an "official" rehab assignment) prior to the start of the short season leagues in June, and then a player on a full-season affiliate's IL can be sent on an "official" Rehab Assignment (in the case of a Cubs minor leaguer on the Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, or South Bend IL) - ONLY - to Eugene or to one of the two Cubs AZL teams once their season starts). And no more than three minor league players can be on a Rehab Assignment with any one short-season affiliate at any one time. 

So (for example) a player on the Iowa IL cannot be sent on a rehab assignment to Myrtle Beach or South Bend. He either goes to Extended Spring Training (with no time limit) in April, May, and the first half of June, or (after the start of the short-season leagues in mid-June) to Eugene or to AZL Cubs #1 or to AZL Cubs #2. And a maximum of three minor leaguers can be on an "official" rehab assignment at Eugene, a maximum of three with AZL Cubs #1, and a maximum of three at AZL Cubs #2 (for a total of nine combined between Eugene, AZL Cubs #1, and AZL Cubs #2) at any one time.

And (as is the case with players on an MLB IL who are on an Article XIX-C Rehab Assignment), a player on a full-season minor league affiliate's IL who is assigned to Eugene or to one of the two Cubs AZL teams does - NOT - count against the short-season affiliate's roster limit.  

With both Addison Russell and Oscar de la Cruz scheduled to finish their respective suspensions and be reinstated from the Restricted List in a couple of weeks, look for the Cubs to transfer Brandon Morrow and Victor Caratini to the 60-day IL to make room on the 40 for Russell and ODLC. 

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  • crunch 13 hours 17 min ago (view)

    j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.

    w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend).  braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)


    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 


  • crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 21 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.


  • crunch 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...


  • Hagsag 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!


  • crunch 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information. 


  • Cubster 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office,  as GM


  • Charlie 5 days 17 hours ago (view)

    For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.


  • crunch 6 days 4 hours ago (view)

    rev up those off-season rumor fryers...

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.


  • crunch 6 days 9 hours ago (view)

    former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.

    green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.


  • Arizona Phil 6 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters.