Nationals @ Cubs: Jackson vs Lackey (Game 109)

WAS (64-43): RHP Edwin Jackson (2-1, 3.75)
CHC (57-51): RHP John Lackey (8-9, 4.87) 
First pitch: 1:20pmCST

The good news is we get to face Edwin Jackson. The bad news is that there’s a very real possibility that this team will not beat Edwin Jackson. At least we’re not still paying him. 

After three appearances with the Orioles and the inevitable DFA, Jackson was scraped up by the Nationals--his fifth team since getting booted from the Cubs. In three starts for Dusty, he’s 2-1 with a 2.84. In other words, he’s due to return to form. The Cubs are 30-94 (.319) against him. Avila is 8-23.

Lackey gave up 2 ER over 6 innings to win his third straight game. He’s 3-0 with a 3.27 in August. That’ll work. Overall, the Nats are 62-205 (.302) against him. Werth is 7-18 with a HR.

Lester (8-6) and Fedde (0-1) close out the series tomorrow at the same time.

Go Cubs!


I am presuming that Tommy LaStella will be recalled from AAA Iowa in the next day or two once the Cubs bullpen situation/workload has settled down a bit, at which point Rob Zastryzny will very likely be optioned back to Iowa. 

Beginning on Sunday August 13th, any player on an MLB 40-man roster who has minor league options left and who has not been opltioned to the minors previously during the season can be optioned to the minors without using a minor league option year, as long the player spends no more than 19 days on optional assignment to the minors (meaning a player optioned to the minors on 8/13 could be recalled on 9/1 when MLB Active Lists expand).  

This comes into play with the Cubs because Addison Russell will be eligible to be reinstated from the 10-day DL on 8/13, and so LaStella could remain with the Cubs after Russell is reinstated (presuming Russell is reinstated after ten days) while another position player like Ian Happ or Albert Almora could be optioned to the minors for 19 days and then recalled on 9/1, with no minor league option spent in 2017.  

Also, the Cubs will likely add pitchers and position players to their MLB Active List and (in some cases) to their MLB 40-man roster to augment their bullpen and bench when MLB active lists expand in September. However, calling up players who are not already on the MLB 40-man roster would require removing as many players from the 40 as are added, since the Cubs MLB 40-man roster is full. 

AZ Phil, How good do you think D.Wilson and A.Ademan can be? Obviously it's early, but you aren't wrong all that much.

CHILDERSB3: Aramis Ademan is probably the Cubs #2 position player prospect right now. I have seen him in Mesa two different years and several different times, at Extended Spring Training in 2016, at AZ Instructs post-2016, and then at Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training in 2017, and he is the rare five-tool shortstop. He has the arm and range to stay at SS and he has the knack for making the big play and timely defensive stop when his team really needs it, he has above-average speed and is a savvy baserunner, he has outstanding bat on ball skills and a good feel for the strike zone, he makes hard contact, and he has XBH and HR power (I saw him pull a home run onto the south bank of the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway in an EXST Cactus League game in 2016 when he was only 17). Ademan jumped over AZL and went directly to Eugene this season after hitting 270/337/371 in 98 PA (28 Cactus League games) at EXST and then he got moved-up to South Bend about a week ago, and he will likely be assigned to the Cubs Advanced Instructs team post-2017 before (probably) heading to Myrtle Beach in 2018, so it should be fairly obvious that Ademan is on the fast track, and - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - he projects to be the eventual replacement for Addison Russell at shortstop (if he doesn't get traded in the meantime). Ademan is the real deal.  

D. J. Wilson played both baseball and football in HS and was all set to go to Vanderbilt before the Cubs gave him 1st round money to sign after drafting him out of South Canton HS in the 4th round in 2015. He reminds me a bit of Lenny Dykstra, in that he plays CF and runs the bases like his hair is on fire, and he has above-average HR power for a guy 5'8. The main problem with Wilson (besides being a tad over-aggressive from time-to-time) is that he is a streaky hitter and he sometimes struggles to make contact and then he expands his strike zone, but he can mash when he gets into a groove. He is not an elite defensive CF like Albert Almora and Trey Martin are, but he is good enough to stay there. One scout told me that he thought Wilson would never be anything more than a 4th OF at the big league level because of his below-average "hit tool," but the Cubs Player Development people think he will hit and that he will be a front-line major league CF. Time will tell. He will likely join Ademan on the Cubs Advanced Instructs team post-2017 and then open the 2018 season in CF at Myrtle Beach. 

Thanks AZP. So, we still have one more real SS prospect. That's honestly amazing considering how many have already come before him (Castro, Baez, Russell, Torres, Paredes). That's a pretty impressive streak of MLB SS players/prospects.

3 losses in a row and a "normal" lineup rather than a maddon panic lineup of weirdness. good for him. i was kinda expecting the pitcher hitting 6th, rizzo leading off, arrieta in RF batting 2nd, etc. needs more mimes and penguins.

Pirates still making moves. Traded for Sean Rodriguez and claimed reliever George Kontos today.


digger phelps vs 10 cups of coffee singing the 7th.

Justin Wilson is making my stomach hurt. Again.

Only one run surrendered - Javy's throwing error did not help, but looking forward to Wilson's first relief appearance with the Cubs where a run doesn't score

heyward drops below .700 OPS for the first time in about a month. he had a nice little streak, but then it died out. .304 ob% .387 slg% ugg. at least he's still benefiting from WAR formulas that over-weighs outfield if getting a D whiz that can't bat worth a damn is something unable to be found in the minors rather than something teams generally don't want to screw with handing 600+ PA a year. yes, he's far above average, but his 2 chances a game are a bit out of whack vs his supposed "replacement level" peer. i don't get it. he's not supposed to be this bad even though he's a kinda boring hitter even at his best. what has happened the last 2 seasons? it's not's not age/abuse... *shrug* i've read a lot about it and seen a lot of it happen in front of me, but it's kinda crazy he's not dug himself out of this hole.

cubs win!

Having Zobrist and Heyward both in the lineup with their sub-.700 OBPs is a killer, particularly when Zobrist hits anywhere other than leadoff. His bat looks dead. At least Hayward gives you defense and base running.

i still believe heyward is better than this, but im running out of ways to believe he can get better and i can't see anything he's doing "wrong" at the plate as much as he just looks weak at the plate. at least that's something. it seems he could "turn it around" without actually doing anything major to turn it around. hard to believe he's peaked at such a young age. he doesn't have far to fall from "good" to "meh" when he's a .350-ish ob%, 30 double, 10-15 homer guy, but i'd settle for anything near that rather than what we've got the past year and 2/3rd out of him.

I forget how good Kosuke Fukudome was defensively in right field, but so far JHey's even falling short of Fukudome's age 31-33 offensive production with the Cubs.

im still getting over the 2008 postseason failure. my gawd. also, wow, fukudome is still playing ball professionally in japan at age 40 and doing a decent job of it. good for him.

dodgers are 43-7 in their last 50 games (after today's win vs the mets). day-yam.

Would need to go 39-13 the rest of the way to break MLB's all-time wins record (1906 Cubs and 2001 Mariners).

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  • crunch 8 hours 5 min ago (view)

    don't worry, i'm sure even though he was spared from cuts there's some hardship he's being tortured with that he has to unfairly overcome.  #coreystrong #onthecross #yolo #swag #kony2012


  • crunch 8 hours 6 min ago (view)

    there's no way a system like that or something similar to that would work.

    "oh hi." - green bay packers

    *shoves out of way*

    like i said, there's no way that would work.


  • Hagsag 11 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Corey Black still has a job.


  • Charlie 11 hours 10 min ago (view)

    I am ready for MLB owners to give it a f***ing rest. I don't have any outrage to spare on them.

    If they can't afford this crisis, maybe they can surrender franchise rights to the players, grounds crew, concession employees, etc., and MLB teams can be employee owned.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Couldn't have said it better myself, unfortunately.


  • JustSayin' 23 hours 52 min ago (view)

    These players weren't cut/released; laid off is more like it. Fifty-two minor leaguers let go before any real games played, in two waves. The draft will be five rounds this year, not forty.  This is industrial downsizing, anticipating no traditional season this year and capitulation to MLB demands for a much smaller minor league system in 2021.  Next year or 2022 could also see a labor stoppage in the big leagues, over what promises to be a very tough CBA negotiation.  The game will not be what it used to be after this.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    i don't blame the ownership/font office for doing what they did with bryant.  it was just kinda bad timing that bryant was the client that boras was finally "i'm sick of this" over.  the cubs were warned that boras was going to make a stand and it dragged on so long there has to be some kind of toll on the boras/cubs relationship.


  • bigsky33 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Hi Phil, yes, hoping for an extended AZ Fall League.  Do you think there will be more cuts?  De La Cruz was the only big sureprise to me. I thought he had some upside. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    It'll be more over when Kris leaves. Or whenever the same thing happens to another of his clients.

    He isn't wrong though...


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Presuming there is no traditional minor league season in 2020, expect an expanded Arizona Fall League (with potentially a new "Florida Fall League" as well) for the best prospects and expanded post-season instructs for other minor leaguers (all TBA). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    My understanding is that the other two Cubs minor leaguers who are to be released are the two post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agents who signed 2020 minor league contracts, Brandon Morrow and Jason Kipnis. The Cubs will then supposedly re-sign them to new minor league contracts without the $100K retention bonus and 6/1 opt-out. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Agreed. Not counting the "4-A" guys, Oscar de la Cruz is the one legit MLB prospect on the list.  


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view) la cruz had some decent looking spring outings (though late inning spring work isn't exactly challenging).  the years of injuries insanely slowed his progression.  totally wouldn't mind seeing him return in 2021 if the team would still be on his radar after getting cut at a time like this.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    that whole "kris bryant thing" is over...but it's never going to be over as long as this ownership group and boras is around.

    boras could have focused this on 29 other teams, especially the more vocal ones because the cubs have been mostly silent.  the cubs aren't the only team out there paying off "creatively financed" loans, either.

    he chose the cubs.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Not looking forward to seeing that list. Hate to see it when a guy you've invested any sort of energy in is given up on.


  • Cubster 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Chi Tribune today. Boras picks, and focused on the Ricketts. 

    Headline writer, fun job: Agent won’t let Cubs get away Scott-free Matt York/AP and Paul Sullivan.

    Boras told his players “the game can not be played without you” and asked them to share the concept with teammates and opposing players when “MLB requests further concessions or deferral of salaries” during negotiations.