Cubs vs. Athletics: Series Thread (Games 112-114)
The Cubs are in first place after sweeping the Brewers at home and now prepare for a three-game set against the Athletics. With the Cardinals still hot on their tail, they'll need to keep up the kind of intensity they've shown over the last few days. Although they are 8.5 games back in the AL West, don't expect the A's to go down easy. They are 64-48 and playing for an AL Wild Card spot and are an all around tough opponent. See match-ups below.
Game 112, Monday, August 5, 7:05pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-8, 3.07 ERA)
OAK: RHP Chris Bassitt (7-5, 3.84 ERA)
Hendricks starts things against the A's. He's coming off seven shutout innings and a win against the Cardinals. He last allowed a run on July 21, against the Padres. Khris Davis is 5-17 off of him, former Cardinal Stephen Piscotty is 4-15, and former Philly Cameron Rupp is 0-7.
Bassitt has accumulated 292 major league innings and 48 starts since 2014, briefly with the White Sox and then bouncing between the minors and the majors with the Athletics. He's spent the majority of 2019 healthy and in the majors. Nick Castellanos is 4-11 with three doubles off of him.
Game 113, Tuesday, August 6, 7:05pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (9-7, 3.86 ERA)
OAK: LHP Brett Anderson (9-7, 4.04 ERA)
Lester surrendered five earned runs in a five-inning loss to the Cardinals last time out. Current A's have a .596 OPS against him in 56 at bats.
Former Cub Brett Anderson is back at it with the A's. He rebounded from his rough 2017 with a decent half-season in 2018 and has improved on that performance this year. His strikeout rate has just about hit bedrock, but he continues to get groundballs more than half the time. He hasn't won since July 5, having lost his last two and getting handed no-decisions in the two starts before that. He's allowed 13 earned runs in 24.1 innings during that stretch. Current Cubs are 6-20 off of him with three strikeouts.
Game 114, Wednesday August 7, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (9-7, 4.40 ERA)
OAK: RHP Homer Bailey (9-7, 5.20 ERA)
Q allowed two earned runs over six innings and got a win as part of the Milwaukee sweep. Going back to the beginning of July, he's allowed sixteen earned runs over 28.2 innings and hasn't had a scoreless appearance since June 29. Current A's have a .860 OPS against him in 63 at bats. Robbie Grossman is 5-20.
The A's picked up Homer Bailey from the Royals after the All-Star break, and he's gone 2-1 in four starts since then. Most recently he got a no-decision while allowing two earned runs in six innings to the Brewers. Rizzo is 11-28 with two homeruns and six walks off of him. Heyward is 7-21 with a homerun.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals take on the Los Angels juggernaut and the Brewers try to make up some ground in a series against the last-place Pirates. Is it time for scoreboard watching yet? The division has been so tight all year that I feel like I've never really not been watching the standings.
crunch 21 hours 1 min ago (view)
it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control. he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.
Arizona Phil 1 day 15 min ago (view)
CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.
Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A.
crunch 1 day 26 min ago (view)
i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.
he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.
Arizona Phil 1 day 44 min ago (view)
I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection.
STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them.
EXAMPLES: See my lists above.
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
"There are no untouchables," Epstein said.
In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.
That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.
crunch 2 days 22 hours ago (view)
i wonder where the cubs will go with things.
there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone. as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team. the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.
bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...
Hagsag 2 days 22 hours ago (view)
Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!
crunch 2 days 22 hours ago (view)
"According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."
by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him. i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.
Arizona Phil 3 days 15 hours ago (view)
Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.
Cubster 3 days 23 hours ago (view)
Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office, as GM
Charlie 5 days 1 hour ago (view)
For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.
crunch 5 days 12 hours ago (view)
rev up those off-season rumor fryers...
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.
crunch 5 days 17 hours ago (view)
former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.
green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.
Arizona Phil 5 days 23 hours ago (view)
Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters.
crunch 6 days 3 hours ago (view)
chris young to be named new bullpen coach (former phillies pitching coach)
mixed messages on whether lester strode will have a new cubs role or leaving the cubs...