Cubs vs. Royals: Series Thread (Games 124-126)

The Cubs return home hot on two-game winning streak. They'll take on the AL Central trailers, the KC Royals, to start the homestand. See below for the matchups.

Game 124, Friday, August 20, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Zach Davies (6-9, 5.00 ERA)

KCR: RHP Brad Keller (7-12, 5.62 ERA)

Davies allowed three runs, zero earned, in six innings against Miami.

Keller's been pitching with the MLB club since 2018 but only just turned 26. He's having a down year right when one would hope to see him come into his own. He's never been one to miss many bats, and the BABIP fates have been unkind to him this season.

Game 125, Saturday, August 21, 1:20 pm central


KCR: LHP Kris Bubic (3-6, 5.09 ERA)

Oh, look it's Kris B.! This one was a 40th overall pick in 2018 and is going through his sophomore slump. He got knocked around to the tune of seven runs over 1.1 innings by the Cardinals last time out.

Game 126, Sunday, August 22, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Alec Mills (5-5, 4.19 ERA)

KCR: RHP Carlos Hernández (3-1, 4.33 ERA)

Alec Mills may be the Cubs' most valuable starting pitcher by the time this season is over. He's neck and neck with Kyle Hendricks so far and no one else is really in contention.

Hernández has split time this season between the bullpen and rotation while with the MLB club. He brings a plus fastball and middling other stuff.


z.davies is dildos.

leaked days ago, but MLB made it official...cubs/reds "field of dreams" game for 2022 (reds get home team).

Schwarber is 2 for 2 (so far) in the Red Sox game tonight including a double. He's DH-ing.

schwarber belongs at DH...he doesn't half-ass it in the field, but even at his best it's sub-par.

speaking of lost talent, i doubt we'll see bryant again since SF seems to be absolutely in love with him.  i get the feeling rizzo wouldn't be coming back even before recent post-trade public crosstalk.  i would not be shocked to see baez return unless hoerner has an impressive comeback to finish the season.

Dan Winkler has been released, Johneshwy Fargas has been sent outright to AAA Iowa (and he can - NOT - elect free-agency), Jake Jewell was optioned to Iowa after Friday's game, and Keegan Thompson has been recalled (effective Saturday). 

awesome.  now do trevor megill.

Unload Meisinger too.

Jake Arrieta in SD (mlbtr update): The veteran right-hander made his first start as a Padre on Wednesday at Coors Field. He allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings against the Rockies before departing due to the hamstring issue that today landed him on the shelf.

--life goes on

Then there's Cole Hamels who has made a combined $19 million from the Braves ($18M) and Dodgers ($1M) the last two seasons, throwing a total of 3.1 MLB innings in the process. So a little over $6 Million earned per out recorded - not too shabby for Mr (and Mrs) Hamels!

wonder if JD sweats boog/sutcliffe working together because their long history lends itself to a more comfortable booth.

it's not a JD issue, it's just that boog is more willing to take crap from sutcliffe without overanalyzing it and just rolling with it.  it's kinda weird cuz sutcliffe is way more combative and confrontational, yet boog has a lot easier time with chemistry between him/sutcliffe vs JD.

I'm not sure about any of that, but didn't Boog and Sutcliffe work games together for ESPN once upon a time? Might explain their rapport if so. 

yeah, they got decent history at ESPN.

it seems boog is more likely to take crap from sutcliffe and let it roll off whereas boog seems to be more defensive (in a non-humor way) with jd for no real reason other than their relationship isn't as established.  it's kinda weird cuz sutcliffe is way more aggro with boog.

bubic (KC) throwing a no hitter through 6ip with rain imminent.

he's pretty much having the best game of his career right now.

bubic gets a chance to return after the rain delay and gives up a couple runs.  tough.

p.wisdom gets HR #20.

Where the hell is J.D.?

He's vacationing on the mighty St Lawrence and will be back in the saddle tomorrow


19 year OF Owen Caissie getting promoted from the ACL to Myrtle Beach.  And Alex Canario has a strong throwing arm:


phew...that throw.  wow.

jesse barfield would probably go "damn."

I've seen a lot of Owen Caissie out here in Mesa, and the best ceiling-comp I can think of is Freddie Freeman.

While Caissie has an above average arm that plays in RF, he otherwise does not look particularly comfortable in the outfield, and he has (at best) just average speed (and he's not going to get any faster as he matures), but he would make a good target at 1B. So the Cubs really need to move him to 1B ASAP and find somebody to teach him the finer points of the position. If he can't handle 1B, he might be just a DH.  

Besides, the Cubs already have a gaggle of legit MLB outfield prospects (B. Davis, Crow-Armstrong, Canario, K. Alcantara, Pinango, Velazquez, Roederer, Nwogu, etc).   

It's probably a little bit early for this and I may not be around to see it, but here is my projected Cubs Opening Day lineup 2026: 

1. Nick Madrigal, 2B 
2. Reggie Preciado, 3B 
3. Brennen Davis, CF 
4. Owen Caissie, 1B 
5. Kevin Alcantara, DH 
6. Alexander Canario, RF
7. Pete Crow-Armstrong, LF 
8. Cristian Hernandez, SS 
9. Miguel Amaya, C 
Adbert Alzolay, SP  

Nico Hoerner will be a FA after the 2025 season, but otherwise the bench could be guys like Pablo Aliendo or Malcom Quintero (catcher), Alfonso Rivas or Jared Young (1B-LF), Kevin Made or Ed Howard IV (INF), Christopher Morel (INF-OF), and/or Nelson Velazquez, Yohendrick Pinango, Cole Roederer, or Jordan Nwogu (OF). And there's even more possibilities than that.  

As for pitchers, Kyle Hendricks will probably be long gone by 2026, but some combination of Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson, D. J. Herz, Jordan Wicks, Brailyn Marquez, Kohl Franklin, Ryan Jensen, Caleb Kilian, Alexander Vizcaino, Jeremiah Estrada, Riley Thompson, Yovanny Cruz, Anderson Espinoza, and/or Benjamijn Rodriguez could fill out the rotation behnd Alzolay, with maybe Manuel Rodriguez, Ben Leeper, Codi Heuer, Ethan Roberts, Danis Correa, Michael McAvene, Chris Clarke, Eury Ramos, and/or Cayne Ueckert (RHRP), and Burl Carraway, Brendon Little, Brandon Hughes, and/or Bailey Horn (LHRP), and/or some of the guys who don't make the rotation in the pen.  

And the Cubs should get a pretty good 1st round draft slot next year, so whoever that is could be ready for MLB by 2026.  

Phil, are you able to see the games in Mesa  these days?

If this was the opening day lineup in 2026, it would mean that the Cubs acquired 2/3 of the players in the deadline massacre and the Darvish trade. That's pretty stunning.

75% of Freeman would be a damn fine player

nico leaves his rehab game mid-AB after a swing.


cubs lose.  13 in a row at home...ties team record.

3-17 in august so far.  2 of those wins were 1 run wins.

If the Cubs keep up that 3-17 pace, they should get 6 more wins this season for a 60-102 season record.
The others, if they maintain their current win percentages:
BALT 50 wins
AZ 54 wins
TEX 57 wins
PITT  57 wins 

MIA 66 wins 

WAS  69 wins

MIN 70 wins 

KC 72 wins
COL 74 wins

So the Cubs are on pace for the 5-6th pick. If you use their current win percentage (.429), they would be on track for 69 wins (15-21), which gets them a pick in the 6-9 range. The teams in this draft choice competition include MIA, WAS, COL, MIN, KC.  Probably locks in the top 4 are BAL, AZ, TEX and PIT.  The series loss to MIA and KC recently (albeit perversely) helped.  It looks tough to get better than that 5th pick because their current 0.176 win percentage, as ugly as it is, will be a  tough ask to get worse...unless they go full Ditka.

ARZ is 7-3 in their last 10.  that's 1/6th of a season's wins for them in mid/late-August.

the cubs have been unwatchable for a bit over a month.  ARZ has been unwatchable nearly all season.

BAL is f'n amazing...18 losses in a row.  23 is the modern record (1961 PHI).  21 is the BAL team record (1988).  they play the extremely underperforming LAA next.

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  • CubsCentral08 21 hours 42 min ago (view)

    List is up to 12 now

    Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama
    Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic
    Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela
    Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic
    Freylin Silverio, RHP, Dominican Republic
    Sandy Sanchez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Darlin de Leon, SS, Dominican Republic


  • Wrigley Rat 22 hours 49 min ago (view)

    In addition to those signed today, it's worth noting that seven players were signed to future-service contracts during the last international free agent signing period, and are expected to make their system-debut this coming season (most likely in the Dominican Republic). Those players are:

    • RHP - Luis Angel Reyes
    • LHP - Kevin Valdez
    • RHP - Jensi Ramirez
    • RHP - Yafrerlyn Vasquez
    • RHP - Eligio Paredes
    • RHP - Jair Jimenez
    • OF - Edward Vargas



  • Wrigley Rat 22 hours 50 min ago (view)

    The Cubs added four more International Free Agents so far today:

    • Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    • Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic



  • Wrigley Rat 22 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Sneak peak into the International Free Agent Signings that officially start tomorrow (Saturday):

    Chicago Cubs ($5,179,700 total bonus pool) - 5 Signings (so far):

    • Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama ($1,500,000 bonus)
    • Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,300,000 bonus)
    • Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,000,000 bonus)
    • Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela



  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    wsox snagging cuban oscar colas...23 year old high end power prospect that could slot into the majors quickly.

    they're building a hell of a batting core on the south side of town.


  • Cubster 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Jon Lester retires. Definitely one of the key people in their Theo era run. 


  • crunch 4 days 19 hours ago (view)

    meeting on thursday.  hopefully this stuff can get done before going too deep into february.


  • crunch 6 days 19 hours ago (view)

    yanks low-A naming rachel balkovec as manager.  first female manager in the minors.

    she was also the first female strength/conditioning coach and hitting coach in rookie leagues for the yanks.


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    "Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is preparing new economic proposals to present to the MLBPA, "likely this month.""


  • tim815 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    As best as I understand, there are the 4 full-season levels with only one affiliate per organization at each level, and the compound league. Toss in the DSL, and that's it. If a team wants and can accommodate a second (or third) Compound League team, that's a decision for "later than January".


  • Wrigley Rat 1 week 5 days ago (view)

    AZ Phil or others - Are major league teams allowed to announce new minor league affiliates for 2022 during this lockout? I ask because there was some discussion about possibly adding a short season league team for next year. Are clubs even allowed to have a 5th non-rookie league team? With all the players jammed up at the A level, it seems like it would be smart to add an additional team for them and this year's incoming draft picks. Of course, they could always just keep two Arizona teams going and it would probably be just fine. Just wondering - thanks and Happy New Year!


  • crunch 1 week 5 days ago (view)

    cameron maybin is retiring, which saves the cubs from once again obtaining or attempting to obtain cameron maybin.

    2022 looking good so far.


  • Cubster 2 weeks 1 day ago (view)

    Welcome to 2022. 
    First news of the year: The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have reached a deal with Tyler Chatwalk! Hope they have a bigger strike zone there.


  • Cubster 2 weeks 2 days ago (view)

    Thanks Phil. Great reply as always. Have a happy and healthy New Year (everyone, but especially AZ Phil)!


  • Arizona Phil 2 weeks 2 days ago (view)

    Kyle Seager is a post-2021 Article XX-B free-agent who is not under the control of an MLB club, so his announcing his retirement is no different than announcing he and his family are going out to dinner tomorrow night or taking a trip to Hawaii next month.  

    The only time a player "files for retirement" and is placed on a club's Voluntary Retired List is if he is signed, or unsigned but under the control of a club. 


  • crunch 2 weeks 2 days ago (view)

    retirement in MLB is an official paperwork process so it might be a frozen issue for filing.  technically there is still work being done like business worked on but not completed before the lockout, as well as other business both sides agree isn't an issue.  dunno if they're processing retirement paperwork.

    seager hit 35 homers last year and could, at the very least, platoon with someone while still earning decent loot.

    that said, he's in his mid-30s and made 100m at his job.  plus, covid-era baseball just isn't fun even if you toss the health issues aside.