Cubs vs. Reds: Mills vs. DeSclafani (Game 95)
CHC (50-44): RHP Alec Mills (0-0, -.-- ERA)
CIN (43-48): RHP Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 4.26 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT
Bad news first: The Cubs dropped the first game of the series in frustrating fashion (no hitting with RISP, fielding errors, bullpen inadequacy) and Willson is going to the IL with a foot injury. In the meantime, the Cubs are sending Mike Montgomery to KC in exchange for Martin Maldonado. Caratini seems likely to get plenty of at bats and the Cubs will have the option to use him more in the pinch if they keep Maldonado around after Contreras's IL stint ends.
More bad news, for me specifically: I forgot that Cole Hamels injured his oblique! Alec Mills's spot start comes as a surprise to me only. The 27-year-old righty has spent all of 2019 at AAA so far. I no longer know to evaluate minor league pitching stats now that the pitcher-friendly PCL combines with the juiced MLB ball, but he's gone 6-2 with a 4.73 ERA for the I-Cubs. He wasn't too bad in 18 innings with Chicago last year, making two starts and appearing twice out of the bullpen. The first of those starts was was a no-decision against Cincinnati, in which Mills allowed one earned run over 5.2 innings while striking out eight. He allowed one run to score on a Philip Ervin double in the second. The Cubs won that August 24th game on a walk-off HR from Bote.
Following his victory over the Cubs on June 30, DeSclafani's last start was a no-decision against Cleveland. He allowed two earned runs in six innings pitched on a pair of solo homeruns. Bryant is 7-20 off of him with a homerun (1-3 with a double against him on 6/30) and Schwarber is 5-14 with a homer and three walks (2-3 with two singles off him and a homer off Lorenzen on 6/30).
The Cubs are 3-7 against the Reds prior to today's game.
Wrigley Rat 15 hours 5 min ago (view)
Cubs Reportedly Sign Powerful Infielder Alejandro Rivero Out of Indy Ball: https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2021/10/21/cubs-reportedly-sign-powe...
crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
* except for playing 1st base
crunch 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...
Cubster 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?
crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)
k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.
crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)
e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.
both are/were catcher organizational depth.
crunch 3 days 12 hours ago (view)
for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.
mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.
Arizona Phil 3 days 16 hours ago (view)
Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021
Arizona Phil 3 days 17 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far.
crunch 4 days 8 hours ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 4 days 12 hours ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 4 days 17 hours ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 4 days 23 hours ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 5 days 6 hours ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 5 days 10 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.