Cubs vs. Diamondbacks: Series Thread (Games 37-40)

The Cubs took two of three from the Pirates to start their homestand. Next, they'll host the D-Backs for four as the season nears the end if it's first quarter. See below for daily matchups.


Game 37, Thursday, May 19, 6:40 pm central

CHC: RHP Marcus Stroman (1-3, 5.13 ERA)

ARZ: RHP Zac Gallen (2-0, 1.05 ERA)


Game 38, Friday, May 20, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 4.03 ERA)

ARZ: RHP Humberto Castellanos (2-1, 4.15 ERA)


Game 39, Saturday, May 21, 1:20 pm central

CHC: LHP Justin Steele (1-4, 4.50 ERA)

ARZ: LHP Madison Bumgarner (2-2, 2.29 ERA)


Game 40, Sunday, May 22, 1:20 pm central

CHC: LHP Wade Miley (1-0, 2.70 ERA)

ARZ: RHP Merrill Kelly (3-2, 3.27 ERA)

Comments

a 4 game lineup without TBD pitching.  nice.

Saw CK throw today for 3rd time. He's consistently very good but not dominant. They let him throw 80 pitches today, his most yet, but he couldn't finish the 6th after getting the first 2 hitters. 2 unearned runs thx to an error by Robel Garcia who's en fuego at the plate to the tune of 8 homers in last 9 games. Leads league in OPS and, ironically, wears #7 which is the number on the Brennen Davis jersey shirts they handed out last weekend while BD is back in AZ rehabbing his bad back. Anyway, CK does look pretty polished and IS impressive. I guess his consistency is most impressive to me but they seem to be handling him w/ extreme care. Call up after Hendricks dealt @ deadline?

morel playing 2nd thursday night...should be interesting.  he's only played there 13 times in the minors, but he did play there this off-season in winter league.

ed howard is having hip surgery.  sigh.

a.mills to 60d IL

Pretty amazing to see the Cubs farm system with a .617 winning percentage. With few exceptions, the hitters are hitting and several pitchers appear to be taking big steps forward. There's improvement at every level. Very exciting. Have to think that changes in player development department are certainly paying off.

hendricks homer problem continues...wow.

4x today.

These stretches of unwatchable Cubs baseball are tough on me (us). I went last night. The ballpark is still beautiful with green ivy, the weather was beautiful too but the offense was not watchable unless you like scoring opportunities that leave all their runners stranded. 

happ, contreras, and suzuki are the only steady guys and were pretty much the only guys expected to be steady.

the rest of the team is contact hitting feast/famine and other team's AAA/bench guys the cubs are giving 400-600 PA.

Pitchers should be here by end of year or early 2023 (Kilian, Wicks, Herz, K. Franklin, Sanders) but I don't don't see any bat help until mid-2023 (Amaya, B. Davis, Canaria, Caissie).

GEORGE A: Because he is already on the 40 I would expect Nelson Velazquez to be recalled to replace Ian Happ after he is traded, and because they are Rule 5 Draft-eligible post-2022, I would expect Nelson Maldonado (replacing Frank Schwindel as the primary DH) and Darius Hill (replacing Rafael Ortega as the 4th OF) to be selected to the 40 after the trade deadline.

Jared Young and Bryce Ball are also Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2022 and could get called up as well, but they only allow multiple designated hitters in a lineup in Extended Spring Training games. 

Thanks, Phil. Not sure how I feel about moving Happ and being somewhat competitive in 2023 but doesn't seem a priority for Ricketts.

im still a bit surprised they didn't send b.ball to AFL or pursuade him to play winter ball after missing a chunk of 2021.

seems he's adjusting well to 2022, though.

I would expect to see Kilian this year, and quite possibly Wicks sometime in 2023, but I highly doubt that either Herz or Caissie will be seen in Wrigley until late 2024 at the earliest.  We may see PCA by early 2024 though.

another morel homer.

his bat speed is impressive.

Just spitballing here.....but maybe Jed should not take the easy 'option' and send Morel down for Frazier/Bote/Heyward. .... and maybe a Memorial Day sale on Hendricks, Norris, Givens, et al.

i dunno, i think they should Stick To The Plan (tm) and immediately trade him away for 4 guys that are 17-19 years old and build another advertising scoreboard behind home plate or wherever else they can find revenue in the park.

cubs 2029!

GEORGE: Any post-2021 Article XX-B MLB FA who signed a 2022 MLB contract with the Cubs (Simmons, Norris, Smyly, Gomes, Villar, Robertson, Stroman, and Givens) has an automatic full "no trade" right through June 15th, so a Memorial Day sale might be just a bit premature.

However, I do agree that the Cubs will make a concerted effort to trade most if not all of them (plus Contreras, Hendricks, Miley, Happ, Gsellman, and Martin) by the 8/2 Trade Deadline, since post-trade deadline waiver trades are no longer permitted. 

i've already made peace with contreras being traded, but wow...who else loves the game this much?  who else loves the game this much that's been under Cubs club control?  

this guy is a leader and a cheerleader.  he loves it when he does good and he's equally happy when others do well.  him leaving isn't something I'm happy with. 

He should be our Yadier (overrated though he is). Willson's the heart of the team. And the stupid, stupid Cubs are going to trade him away for teenagers.

Perhaps we should also think about trading Kilian. Big trade value right now, 6 years of control, on the wrong side of 20. Think of all the teenagers we could get for him! Keep an eye on the 2028 Cubs

I hope they extend Contreras, and perhaps Happ.  If not, I certainly hope they trade any of those mentioned above that will become free agents at the end of this season, if they can get anything worthwhile for any of them.  Letting anyone of value, is not be extended, become a free agent is foolish.  Especially the pitchers.  This administration has shown an knack for getting worthwhile pitchers, both starters and relievers, off the scrap heap.

Next year's rotation should have a good start with Stroman, Steele, Thompson and Kilian.  I personally would keep Hendricks if he is signed for another year, but if not, they should be able to bring in someone of equal value this off season.

mark grace (in a suit, ha) doing the post-game show from the Marquee studio.

i wonder if anyone else out there is actively working for 2 teams.  he also does ARZ pre-game/post-game work this season (and last season).

Agreed.

tarp coming off the field, but it's still raining (saturday)

mark grace returns to the marquee booth for a visit...first time since the "dingbat incident"

w.contreras out of the game with a leg injury...didn't look terrible, hopefully he's ready to go tomorrow.

"right hamstring tightness"

i am well over d.ross removing pitchers so f'n early.  it seems to apply to everyone he manages.

steele goes 5ip 1h 2bb 9k, 0r/er with 89 pitches and he's done.

he's been throwing 70-90 pitches all year in his starts.  it's late may and this is his 8th start.

PJ Higgins up. I Vargas dfa.  Must be related to Willson's  hammy.

P. J. Higgins is very likely to remain on the 40 going forward (2022+). He has three minor league option years available, and not only can he catch, he can also play 1B-2B-3B. In addition, he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted (he has been outrighted previously in his career), and the Cubs probably won't want to expose him to waivers because he very likely would get claimed. 

Catcher Miguel Amaya is on the 40 but he is rehabbing from 2021 TJS, and even once he has returned to catching (he is only taking BP so far at EXST) he hasn't played above AA. BTW, Amaya will get a 4th minor league option year in 2023, so he won't be out of minor league options until Spring Training 2024. So the key thing with Amaya is that he has to master AAA by the end of the 2023 season. 

Moises Ballesteros is the Cubs #1 catching prospect right now, but he will be playing in the ACL (rookie ball) in 2022 and that is a long ways away from MLB. So if the Cubs trade Willson Contreras by the 8/2 trade deadline, I suspect the Cubs will want to get a AA or AAA level legit MLB catching prospect back in the deal. The Astros have two good catching prospects, in case (as expected) Houston is where Contreras ends up. Korey Lee is almost certainly an untouchable because he will be the Astros catcher in 2023+, but Yainer Diaz is at AA and so he could be a fit in a Contreras trade.   

Speaking of the Astros as a potential Cubs 2022 trade partner, one thing the Cubs did when they rebuilt the last time (2012-14) is they traded for Jake Arrieta when the Orioles gave up waiting for him to develop into an ace (which of course he did with the Cubs). Forrest Whitley fits that profile with the Astros, so maybe Contreras (plus cash), a veteran bullpen piece (Astros choice), and a second tier prospect for Whitley / Y. Diaz might work?  

With Bote, Heyward, and Hermosillo needing 40 man spots soon, I hope you're correct. Not interested in losing Higgins before July, when he should get regular trips. 

I don't know if I agree with the assessment that Bote "needs" a 40 man spot. DFA him, I promise he's going unclaimed.

How about Logan O'Hoppe from the PHIL system?  Currently handling AA & might be able to pry him due to JTR being locked in @ Catcher. Philly doesn't have a ton of RHB in the lineup, so ...

nice to see vargas go.

someone take him from the cubs before he gets more chances to see ABs.  he's been around 3 seasons now and i think i've had enough.

he's filled his role, emergency middle IF, etc...but yeah...seen enough.

thompson back to the pen...cuz we don't want to accidently win games by trying to win games.

there's stiff competition from powerhouse losers like CIN and the cubs need to keep their eye on the prize...making fans suffer through 162 games of pure shit so they can have a top-5 draft pick.

Draft Kings presents: Disappointment (tm)

all that aside, i know they need to limit his innings and etc...but yeah...tell us you're trying to punt this season without actually admitting you're punting this season cubs front office...

Keegan Thompson, the Cubs piggyback ace goes to 4-0. Ken Holtzman, National Guard reservist, takes notice.

Only five more wins to tie, six to blow past Kenny.