Cubs vs. Brewers: Series Thread (Games 109-111)

The Cubs take on the Brewers in a 3-game set at Wrigley, both teams working to catch up with the 1st place Cardinals. See match-ups below.

Game 109, Friday, August 2, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jose Quintana (8-7, 4.47 ERA)
MIL: RHP Kyle Davies (8-4, 3.56 ERA)

Notes: Quintana is left-handed! Davies throws slow! Go Cubs!

Game 110, Saturday, August 3, 1:20pmCDT
MIL: LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 3.48 ERA)

Notes: Buckle up: TBD is unpredictable! Gio Gonzalez is good sometimes! Go Cubs!

Game 111, Sunday, August 4, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (3-5, 4.46 ERA)
MIL: RHP Adrian Houser (4-4, 3.99 ERA)

Notes: Darvish is gradually improving his numbers! Adrian Houser is making his 8th start of the season! Go Cubs!


Hader has pitched 3 days in a row. He should be down for a day or two.

Heyward CF, Castellanos RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Baez SS, Schwarber LF, Contreras C, Bote 2B, Quintana P

Schwarber .200, Bryant .125, Baez and Rizzo .143, and Contreras .190 BA over last 7 days/6 games.

Lotta guys are due.

Somebody has to be moved off the roster after Hamels comes off the IL tomorrow. Have a hard time believing it will be Wick - still think Brach’s neck/back is going to spasm sometime in the next 24 hours. 

Theo said on WSCR today that Wick's going nowhere. 

ian happ's nervousness intensifies...

Bote helped himself today in that regard

there is so much weird about the top 14th of this CWS/PHI game.

there's a pen arm left in the PHI pen, but they're using a non-pitching OF'r to pitch...and relief pitcher v.velasquez is playing OF...and he just threw a runner out at the plate...and CHW pitcher c.fulmer injures himself trying to run out his 1st MLB ab (he was out)

...and it worked for PHI with no runs scored even though 2 walks and a hit were given up.

i haven't seen anything like that.  gabe kapler needs to buy lotto tickets on the way home.

the OF'r quinn is out to pitch a second inning.  he's featuring a high 70s fastball with...umm...movement.   v.velasquez is playing gold glove quality OF.

quinn's not so lucky this time and CWS takes a 1 run lead...and he gets double unlucky by K'ing at the plate to end the game.

Any guesses of what the roster move will be when Hamels is activated? 

Brad Brach has been DFA.

If the Cubs were OK with dropping Brad Brach from the 40, why didn't they DFA him on Wednesday instead of Oscar de la Cruz? 

All the more reason to believe that de la Cruz will be a third player going to Detroit for Castellanos, because (by rule) he would have had to have been traded to the Tigers on Wednesday (prior to the trade deadline) and could not be a PTBNL unless the Tigers were willing to wait until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season to acquire him, and then what would the Cubs do with him in the meantime? Let him continue to pitch at AA and potentially get injured? 

Because the Tigers have the #1 MLB waiver claim priority (at least they do as long as they have the worst record in MLB), the Cubs can wait until Monday to place de la Cruz on waivers and then Detroit can just claim him off waivers on Wednesday. That way, the Tigers can keep a slot open on their 40-man roster and potentially claim other players off waivers during the week after the MLB Trade Deadline (a number of decent young players on the 40-man rosters of contending clubs will likely be placed on waivers after trade deadline deals and the Tigers can just take their pick). 

Now if the Tigers don't claim de la Cruz off waivers, then the Cubs have some splainin to do, because I find it hard to believe that the Cubs just suddenly determined that Brach was a DFA candidate. 

An oddity about the Brach DFA is that the Cubs don't necessarily have to release or outright Brach to the minors (presuming he would consent to such an assignment). He could be optioned to Iowa sometime in the next seven days, but that would required Brach consenting to the optional assignment.

The reason the Cubs could do this is because Brach was not replaced on the MLB 40-man roster by another player (one slot is open), and if a player is Designated for Assignment but is not replaced on the 40-man roster by another player (so that one slot is left open), the player can be optioned to the miniors (an "Optional Assignment" is one type of MLB assignment, the other two being "Trade Assignment" and "Outright Assignment," and it is called Designated for - ASSIGNMENT - for a reason).

Why would this happen?

While it's not likely, Brach could be considering whether to accept an Optional Asssignment, and so this way he gets up to seven days to think about it. He also could accept an Outright Assignment (presuming he isn't claimed off waivers), but (like Tim Collins earlier this season) Brach might be more willing to accept an Optional Assignment (and remain on the 40-man roster) than an Outright Assignment.  

A DFA followed by an Optional Assignment used to be fairly common back when Optional Assignment Waivers needed to be secured before certain players could be optioned to the minor, but Optional Assignment Waivers were eliminated in 2017. 

And the Cubs get Oscar de la Cruz through waivers and send him outright to AA Tennessee. I did not see that coming. Obviously his stock has fallen across MLB (not just with the Cubs). 

While he does not have the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted (he does not have Article XX-D rights so he must accept the assignment), he - IS - eligible to be a minor league 6YFA after the conclusion of the World Series (unless the Cubs either add him back to the 40 or sign him to a 2020 minor league successor contract in the meantime). 

that's actually a bit frightning.  i know his game is a bit spotty lately, but i assumed his upside would make him worth a pen gamble for someone's 40-man roster.  i wonder if his medicals are just scary or something.

"We" have seen his best better than "they" have, but odd.

If only the outlets could convince me the Cubs added IFA spsce on the Edwards trade.

I've heard it both ways.

Jul 31 More

The today acquired LHP Brad Wieck from the Padres for RHP Carl Edwards Jr. and international bonus money.


I read that as the Cubs sent the cap space.

Yes, apparently the Cubs are sending ISBP space to SD in the Edwards - Wieck deal rather than the other way around. So even with the ISBP space acquired from COL for Jimmy Herron the Cubs will need to acquire more ISBP space sometime in the not-too-distant future so that they can sign more 2019-20 IFAs. They completely blew trough their assigned 2019-20 ISBP space the first day of the ISP.  

AZ PHIL - You wrote a roster prediction the other day before the deadline.  Now that things have changed Brach, ODLC DFA'd, Edwards traded.  Additions of Holland and Phelps.  What is your roster prediction on the pitching side.  I would assume they Pickup Q, Phelps, and Gravemen's option and decline Morrow and if Brach/Barnette are still around decline them too.  Pick up Holland's option or not? Resign Cole (at least give QO, I know you said he might accepted it)? and now with things changing so much do Strop/Cishek/Kintzler find their way back?  Also do you think there is any possibility Castellanos is resigned or is he going to be looking big money?  I know a lot of questions.

cubbies.4ever: Really good questions.

I can't see the Cubs picking up Holland's 2020 $6.5M option because a LOOGY (which he is) won't be of much use next season when the three-batter minimum goes into effect, plus $6.5M is a lot of payroll for what he does even if for some reason the three-batter minimum is not implemented 

Phelps 2020 option includes salary escalators based on games and GF in 2019 that could potentially jack his 2020 salary up as high as $8M (yikes!), although it's most likely going to be $5M (that's what he gets in 2020 if he pitches at least 40 games but not 50 games in 2019, and he's already pitched in 19 with 52 games left). While the Cubs might not want to pay Phelps $5M in 2020 (unless he pitches really well over the balance of the 2019 season), they might decline the 2020 club option and let Phelps become a FA and then try and re-sign him for the same money ($5M) but spread over two years (2020 with a mutual option for 2021, somewhat like the contract Brach signed prior to start of Spring Training). 

Otherwise, Brad Wieck replaces Carl Edwards Jr on the 40 going into 2020 (except Wieck has minor options left and is not eligible for salary arbitration post-2019, while Edwards will be out of minor league options and is arbitration eligible), and Tony Kemp replaces Oscar de la Cruz. (Kemp will probably be the Cubs "26th man" when active list rosters expand in 2020, so I don't see him being outrighted or non-tendered after the season, even though he is out of minor league options).  

So not really much has changed in my post-2019 Cubs 40-man roster projections since the moves made at the Trade Deadline, other than Wieck replacing Edwards and Kemp replacing de la Cruz.

And I still project C Miguel Amaya, INF Trent Giambrone, C-INF P. J. Higgins, LHRP Danny Hultzen, RHRP Dakota Mekkes, RHSP Tyson Miller, C Jhonny Pereda, RHSP Colin Rea, and SS Zack Short as rhe Cubs minor leaguers most likely to be added to 40 post-2019. (M. Amaya, Giambrone, Higgins, Mekkes, T. Miller, and Z. Short are Rule 5 Draft-eligible, and Hultzen, Pereda, and Rea are eligible to be minor league free-agents). 

t.kemp first cubs hit is a bunt hit sliding into 1st.

new pen...same as the old pen...

Thought Phelps did alright - tuff break on Braun’s single - pretty good pitch, but Braun was put on this good earth to inflict pain on Cub fans. He excels in his duty. 

oh geez...

contreras injured running to 1st almost as soon as he left the batter's box.  he is not well.  he's -very- angry at his situation, yelling at himself, on the way back to the dugout.  this is looking like a sure thing trip to the IL.

t.davis is not a viable C solution for a team fighting game-to-game for the playoffs.


All T Davis does is hit grand slams when Darvish pitches. Other than that, he’s a jag (just a guy) :p

ironically, davis/darvish is probably the worst combo of anyone in that rotation because it's matching up the guy who's the slowest to the plate with a guy who's not good helping hold runners.

i dunno what the cubs plan on doing about contreras missing time.  davis is the only guy right now.  maybe they'll go looking elsewhere.

on the bright side, almora gets the lead back in the 7th with a HR.

Taylor Davis or Lucroy?

Grandpa Rossie?  My $ is on Steve Lake

If the Angels place Jonathan Lucroy (who was Designated for Assignment on Thursday) on Outright Assignmernt Waivers before they place him on Release Waivers, I think it's very likely that the Cubs (because of the injury to Contreras) will make a claim. His pro-rated 2019 salary would be just about exactly $1M, and the Cubs should be able to fit that under the $246M super-CBT threshold. 

Remember that waiver claim priority is not based on which league the player is in. (That only applied to Trade Assignment Waivers and Optional Asignment Waivers, both of which have been eliminated). Rather, waiver claim priority for both Outright Assignment Waivers and Outright Release Waivers (the only two types of waivers still around) is based on the aggregate MLB standings (regardless of league) as of 9 AM (Eastern) on the morning the player clears waivers.

If a player is claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, the club awarded the claim is responsible for paying 100% of what remains of the player's contract and the player cannot refuse the assignment. That would be the easist way for the Cubs to acquire Lucroy. 

If a player is claimed off Outright Release Waivers, the claiming club is responsible for 100% of what remains of the player's contract - BUT - the player (regardless of MLB Service Time) can decline the claim and become a free-agent and be paid 100% of what remains of his contrat by his former club (offset by the MLB minimum salary if the player signs a major league contract with another club after being released). 

So a club like the Angels would prefer to lose Lucroy off Outright Assignment Waivers (with the claiming club 100% responsible for what remains of his contract) rather than losing Lucroy off Release Waivers (which Lucroy can reject and become a free-agent and have the Angels on the hook for most of his remaining salary).

The problem for the Cubs is that they can't be sure that another club with a better waiver claim priority (that is, a worse record than the Cubs) might also claim Lucroy, in which case the Cubs can't get him. 

If the Cubs are unable to claim Jonathan Lucroy off waivers they might try and sign Nick Hundley (released by OAK last week). 

Something to keep in mind about Outright Assignment Waivers is that a club does not have to outright a player to the minors if waivers are secured. So for example the Cubs could place Tyler Chatwood on Outright Assignment Waivers and if he's not claimed the Cubs just keep him on the 25-man roster. But if he is claimed, the claiming club assumes 100% of his remaining contract (plus the Cubs receive the $50,000 waiver fee from the claiming club).

So Outright Assignment Waivers operate somewhat like Trade Assignment Waivers did in past seasons, the main difference being that Trade Assignment Waivers were revocable (meaning the club could "revoke" the waiver claim and keep the player if the claiming club did not offer back what the player's club wanted in a trade) while Outright Assignment Waivers are irrevocable and the return is automatically the $50,000 waiver fee plus salary relief (but no players). 

But for players making substantial salaries and/or for players on non-contending clubs who will be free-agents after the season where the player is not going to get a Qualifying Offer, the club might as well "go fishing" and place the player on Outright Asignnment Waivers and see if somebody bites (makes a claim), and even though the club won't get a prospect back if the player is claimed, the club can at least get $50,000 and some salary relief that can be directed elsewehere later. 

The approach should be to wait and see if a key player on a contending club gets hurt during the month of August, and as soon as he does place an expendable and/or high-priced player who plays that position on Outright Assignment Waivers and hope that the club that lost the key player due to injury makes a claim. 

The Cubs having lost Willson Contreras are now in the position of perhaps having a decent catcher (at least one who is better than Lucroy or Hundley) perhaps falling into their laps via Outright Assignment Waivers sometime in the next couple of days. 

How about Rene Rivera from the Mets? 

One problem with Outright Assignmenht Waivers versus Trade Assignment Waivers is that there can't be a salary offset or any additional money or prospects or ISBP space exchanged if a player is claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, so the claiming club assumes 100% of the player's salary and his pro-rated AAV. 

In the case of Trade Assignment Waivers, if a player was claimed the two clubs could work out a deal where the claiming club gave up a legit prospect and in return got a salary offset or maybe some ISBP space. That can't happen with an Outright Assignment Waiver claim. The player's former club gets no players back while the claiming club is stuck having to pay 100% of whatever remains of the player's salary (which could be substantial).  

How refreshing was it to see Cubs add on runs in the 8th inning?  Almost like 2016 - except those Cubs would take it out of a save situation completely 

this is the 2nd game in a row where rizzo is running home like he's 80 years old with a bad hip.  he was almost out on what should have been an easy run yesterday and today he's out by a mile on a play that should have been close at the very worst.

the hell is going on?

Rizzo is very slow and has been for some time. 

truth.  it's not like i'm wondering about some kinda health issue, but damn...might want to stick to clogging bases rather than running into danger...leave that for javy.

He’s also historically been way too aggressive on the bases. Ever since that year when he stole 17 bases. 

fans really into the hit-fest today.  fans in the 8th cheering their heads off for any contact even though they're up by 5 and no runners in scoring position.

cubs sweeeeeep!

Sweep even though their 1B is slow. BFD.

yeah, i just appealed this point to the commish and he took away 1 cubs win because of it.  tough loss.

Kudos to Tyler Chatwood. He has become a valuable bullpen arm.

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  • crunch 51 min 56 sec ago (view)

    he -really- needs to cue into this is a cubs broadcast and not a national/neutral broadcast.

    dude...don't get excited about marlins 3-run homers.


  • crunch 2 hours 18 min ago (view)

    lot of people wanted him when len left.  he's got a long game calling history, but not too much for baseball.  he did host "baseball tonight" for ESPN for a quite a while, so the game isn't a mystery to him.

    i find him a bit boring/dry.  some people like that he has that oldschool "announcer voice" thing going on.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 37 min ago (view)

    He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.


  • crunch 2 hours 50 min ago (view)

    wow...chris myers calling the cubs game for some reason (boog out for the MIA series).

    he is a marquee talent, but he's not been used to call a game as far as i know.

    also, zach davies looks like a kid in pajamas in those dark blue "wrigleyville" uniforms.


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    tonight's game (thursday) is free game, btw.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have optioned RHP Robert Stock back to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHP Brad Wieck. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Mike Hauschild (ex-TOR) from Lexington (Atlantic League) and he has been asigned to AAA Iowa. 

    The Cubs are clearly beating the bushes of indepenent league baseball. Hauschild is the sixth player acquired by the Cubs from independent league teams in the last month (Jose Almonte, Tyler Ladendorf, Tim Susnara, Matt Warkentin, and Jarod Wright are the other five). 


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    (c) hendricks gives up at least 60 homers in the regular season

    seriously, though...wisdom has "slowed down" the past 10 days or so, but he still managed a couple homers.  he's got a damn good shot at 20+ even if bote+duffy come back to steal a little time from him.


  • Charlie 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    This Mets series is going poorly, so... off-topic question. Which of these outcomes do you currently think is more likely in 2021: (a) Javy hits at least 40 homeruns in the regular season, (b) Patrick Wisdom hits at least 20 homeruns in the regular season.


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    wow...and he's done for the night.  that's not good...well, for mets fans.

    "right shoulder soreness"


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings.  he's also got a RBI single.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    and d.smith gets HBP.

    this is high end next level strategy.  you beat degrom by injuring everyone until they have to forfeit the game.  moneyballs.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    ow...villar got nailed in the ear and the back of the head by a throw from lobaton on a stolen base.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: You are absolutely right.

    Granted there are existing rules prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances, but you don't change enforcement protocols suddenly in the middle of the season. Pitchers should be given an opportunity to make adjustments during the course of Spring Training before any new enforcement policy is implememted.

    This can and should be addressed in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not now. 


  • Charlie 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    That was definitely my position prior to this year. But I am starting to buy into the claim that almost all pitchers are using something, even if it is rosin and sunscreen in many cases.