Cubs vs. White Sox: Lester vs. Giolito

CHC (39-33): LHP Jon Lester (5-5, 4.08 ERA)
CHW (35-36): RHP Lucas Giolito (10-1, 2.22 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Having squandered the opportunity to join the league-wide pile-on against Ivan Nova last night, the Cubs try to dodge the two-game sweep at the hands of the Sox' best pitcher. Lester heads things up on the run-prevention side. He allowed six earned runs while suffering a loss against the Dodgers last time out. Going back to May 18 he has an ERA of 7.59. Jose Abreu is 6-15 with a homerun off of him.

Lucas Giolito is finally backing up the prospect hype. He leads the AL in ERA and is tied with the Twins' Odorizzi in wins. He most recently defeated the Yankees, contributing six innings and allowing one earned run on four hits and four walks. Current Cubs have seen very little of him. They are 6-41 as a group with eight walks. Javy is 2-6 with the only dinger in the bunch. Schwarber is 1-3 with with 3 walks.

Paging the front desk: The Cubs' offense is overdue for their wake-up call.

Comments

Oh well, better Strop than Q (sigh)...

Did Steve Stone always babble so incessantly?

yes...also, he's the world's best pitching coach who has known how to "fix" every pitching problem with at least 1000 pitchers he's seen while calling games.

him and hawk were just toxic, bitter, and he's at least a bit less of all that since hawk left.

he's a true chicago baseball institution, though.  he's earned it.

The Brewers and Cards have basically regressed in lock step with the Cubs lately, but not gaining a couple games over the last 10 or so feels like a huge missed opportunity. This has been a really tired stretch.

I don't quite know if Lester is just completely done, or is he "going through a bad stretch"?

To actually count on him as a "stopper" seems ubsurd. It was Hendricks. But not now.

There have been a couple off-season moves that did not aid the team at all - namely the subtraction of LaStella, and addition of Descalso.

The Cole signing was the best.

And, while not this year, the trade for Q will go down as one of the worst in Cubs history, unfortunately.

Hamels or Hendricks seem likely to be the defacto stoppers, but the Cubs failed to give Cole more than one run worth of support.

Lester's been hurt by BABIP and HR/9, both of which can swing hard in small samples. But he runs that fine line between weak contact and getting mashed even when he's doing well. I think he's probably done being an ace, but not done contributing.

Re. Q: Cubs got 1.3 fWAR from Chapman in 2016 and gave up Torres. It seems no more Q's fault they haven't won a world series with him than it was Chapman's fault they won it with him. If the Cubs won the series with Q this year, would you change that evaluation, or do you think Eloy will be that much better than Gleyber?

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / contreras / heyward / bote(2nd) / lester / almora

1st pitch leadoff homer...

lester...what's going on?

contreras grand slam!

3rd of his cubs career.

...and a solo HR.  all 5 RBIs belong to him after 3 innings.

...and a flawless throw to nail t.anderson trying to steal 3rd.

is there anyone in baseball who loves to shed their helmet while running as much as almora?

He loves it almost as much as Javy loves insisting on replays.

ha.

Ozzie Albies routinely loses his helmet while running the bases - his helmet even has a parody twitter account. 

lester goes 5.2ip and gives up 3 runs.  it wasn't pretty, but it wasn't ugly.

cubs win!

MIL lost, so the cubs are in 1st by a half game.

The Adbert Alzolay era begins tomorrow. Collins DFAd

The thing about Tim Collins is that because he has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), he must give his consent each time he is optioned or outrighted to the minors, and while he obviously did give his consent when he was optioned to the minors after being signed in March and then again in April and again in May after brief call-ups to MLB, he is no longer willing to do it, and so to get him off the 25-man roster, the Cubs have no choice but to release him (if he isn't traded or claimed off waivers sometime in the next seven days). 

The Cubs could give Alzolay three starts (6/20 vs NYM, 6/25 vs ATL, and 6/30 at CIN), then option him to the minors on 7/1 when (presumably) Craig Kimbrel and Tony Barnette are brought up, then leave Alzolay at Iowa for 14 days through the All-Star Break, and recall him to start the game on 7/15 or 7/16 vs CIN (if Hendricks isn't ready to come off the IL after the ASB). 

Chatwood announced as starter for tonight, but since Alzolay was scheduled to go for Iowa today I don't think it's a fluke he was called up.  He could piggyback nicely after Chatwood throws 96 pitches in 4 innings with 9 Ks and 5 walks.

I would absolutely accept that scenario, including the line for Chatwood (provide there's no homerun mixed in there).

kinda neat...

"Per ESPN.com's Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball's executive council has granted the Rays permission to explore a plan that would allow them to start the season playing home games in Tampa Bay and finish their home schedule in Montreal. "

for a team like TB that likes to under-pay their people, talent having to have 2 residences (or just a place to crash) is a bit of a kick in the teeth, though.  since it's an AL market, most everyone who has to play them will already have their papers for travel into canada (because TOR)...so that's not too disruptive.

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  • Hagsag 53 min 2 sec ago (view)

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

     

  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 25 min 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' 1 day 23 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 2 days 1 hour 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 4 days 17 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 4 days 23 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it 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' 5 days 1 hour 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 5 days 23 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    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 6 days 7 hours 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 6 days 9 hours 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 6 days 12 hours 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 1 hour 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 1 day 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."

    ---

     

  • bradsbeard 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 

     

  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    RedSox acquire catcher Jhonny Pereda from the #Cubs, completing the January 21 trade for RHP Travis Lakins

    ...cubs lost lakins on waivers to BAL, btw