Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 121-123)

The Cubs have matched their season high for *checks notes* games lost in a row, at eleven. Next, they get to face the second place Reds, who trail the Brewers by 8 games and are fighting for a Wild Card spot. See below for the matchups in this three-game series.

Game 121, Monday, August 16, 6:10 pm central

CHC: LHP Justin Steele (2-1, 2.95 ERA)

CIN: LHP Wade Miley (9-4, 3.00 ERA)

Steele gets his second start of the season and looks pretty secure in the rotation to the end of the season now that Arrieta has officially departed. He allowed three earned runs to the Brewers in five innings in his first start, striking out only one batter along the way.

Miley allowed five earned runs to Atlanta in five innings last time out. He did not earn a decision when he faced the Cubs on July 26, allowing three earned runs and five walks in 4.1 innings.

Game 122, Tuesday, August 17, 6:10 pm central

CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (13-5, 4.15 ERA)

CIN: RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (8-3, 3.95 ERA)

The Brewers absolutely wrecked Hendricks in his last start. They collected eleven hits and nine earned runs off the veteran righty in 4 innings and ended his undefeated streak. The Reds tagged him for five earned runs in 4.1 innings when they saw him near the end of July.

Gutierrez has won four straight going back to a July 27 victory against the Cubs.

Game 123, Wednesday, August 18, 11:35 pm central

CHC: TBD, probably RHP Keegan Thompson (3-2, 2.21 ERA) RHP Adrian Sampson (6-12, 5.71 ERA in 153 innings at the MLB level)

CIN: RHP Tyler Mahle (10-3, 3.58 ERA)

Thompson made one start for the Cubs back on May 4. He last appeared for the MLB club on 7/26 and has since gotten stretched out a bit in the minors. Out of the bullpene he's missed enough bats to succeed, but his command has been inconsistent.

AZ Phil noted below that Adrian Sampson is on schedule to start on Wednesday and would be the likely call-up. He's made 20 MLB starts in his career and 21 additional relief appearances, and he spent 2020 pitching in the KBO. He brings a low 90s fastball and a slider and changeup.

Mahle is coming off seven scoreless innings in Philadelphia. He pitched six scoreless against the premium Cubs experience back on July 28.


this is not fun.

That very well could have been Dan Winkler's last game as a member of the Cubs. He's closing in on another performance bonus ($75K if he pitches in 50 games, and this was game #47) after already having earned $50K when he pitched in his 40th game and another $50K when he pitched in his 45th game (on top of his $900K base salary).

I could see Winkler getting a DFA on Wednesday and the Cubs calling up RHSP Adrian Sampson from Iowa to take Adbert Alzolay's spot in the rotation. (Sampson was already scheduled to start for the I-Cubs on Wednesday). 

No surprise that you basically nailed this, AZ Phil - Winkler DFA'd today. Hermosillo (finally) called up from Iowa as part of the move. 


I don't know if you feel comfortable answering this, so your call.

Given all the prospect capital traded for this year, how good are the current Cubs Player Development staff?

something about being down by 12 that makes a 5 run rally not so exciting...

This is kind of an interesting experiment in a high school chemistry class kind of way... what if you took a AAA team like the Iowa Cubs, and had them play in MLB? How would they do? Would they lose every game? Almost every game? I guess we'll find out.  


cubs/reds 2022 "field of dreams" game.  neet.

Go Corn Go. 

Go Children of Corn Go.

Who doesn't like corn?

Winkler DFA, Hermosillo selected. Still TBD who starts tomorrow

Maybe JHey (or another OF) mysteriously re-injures his finger again tonight with the pitching move on the horizon. 

I'd guess Johneshwy is the 26 man casualty, but who on 40 man?

Edit: Phil was right (as usual!). Sampson to make tomorrow's start, no word on 40 or 26 man moves yet.

Johneshwy DFA'd

And because he has not been outrighted previously in his career, Johneshway Fargas will not have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted, although he would automaticaly be declared an MLB Rule 9 (formerly MLB Rule 55) 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if he is not added back to an MLB 40-man roster or does not sign a 2022 minor league successor contract in the meantime. 

kyle ryan outrighted, but elected free agency.

Is Delilah giving the team haircuts?

adrian "who the hell is adrian sampson" sampson gets the wednesday, okay...whatever.

i mean...who cares, but really?

it's like we're out here killing time rather than checking out 2022 realities.

More like desperate to cover some innings for a bit.

well, now you're just being reasonable.

i'm over here trying to be grossly reactionary and overly emotional.

cubs win!

Heuer looked nasty. Congrats to Hendricks on the win at a place/team that's particularly tuff for him. 

His delivery reminds me of Latroy Hawkins.

I'm getting cold sweats now thinking of the calamitous series with the Mets in 2004 which closed out the Cubs playoff hopes. Hopefully young Heuer can avoid a similar fate. 

I always like Hawkins and thought he deserved better with the Cubs.

he got some extreme hate for blowing saves.

dude had a bad run with the long ball with the cubs, but he was good enough to put in another decade of work after the cubs were done with him.  not bad for a guy who played with the cubs in his early 30s.

sampson pitches 4 innings.  it's a shame he got pulled and doesn't get a shot at the win.

61st cub player this season.  lot of cubs in 2021.

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  • crunch 8 hours 23 min ago (view)

    * except for playing 1st base


  • crunch 2 days 4 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 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?


  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.


  • Cubster 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...


  • crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.


  • crunch 2 days 9 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 2 days 13 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 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 


  • crunch 3 days 5 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 3 days 9 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 3 days 14 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 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).