Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 31-34)

The Cubs have a 4-game set scheduled in Cincinnati, including a doubleheader on Saturday. As of my writing this, it is not entirely clear whether these games will be played. Multiple professional leagues are now on strike--in response to police violence and domestic terrorism and in solidarity with protesters. Players on multiple MLB teams chose note to play on Wednesday and Thursday. As we have never been able to forget this year, bigger and more important things are happening than professional sports. However, I have listed the projected match-ups below, should the series be played.

Game 1, Friday, August 28, 6:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-3, 3.55 ERA)
CIN: RHP Tyler Mahle (0-1, 4.41 ERA)

Game 2, Saturday, August 29, 1:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Yu Darish (5-1, 1.70 ERA)
CIN: RHP Trevor Bauer (3-1, 1.65 ERA)

Game 3, Saturday, August 29, TBD
CHC: RHP Alec Mills (3-2, 4.55 ERA)
CIN: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.71 ERA)

Game 4, Sunday, August 30, 12:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-2, 6.06 ERA)
CIN: Luis Castillo (0-4, 3.90 ERA)

A scheduled day off follows the series before the Cubs proceed to Pittsburgh for a 3-game series.


AZ Phil, have you heard any rumblings about the AFL? Roster limits, more than 6 teams?

GEORGE A: The 2020 AFL (and FFL) season hasn't been canceled but it will be delayed. No word yet on the start date, number of teams, roster limits, etc, but the preference is for each club that wishes to participate to have its own team based in the club's AZ or FL Spring Training site (with no fans present). Some clubs might opt out. 

Thanks, Phil.

Go Cubs! Oh, btw f*** Brian Urlacher to hell.

seconded and thirded...thirded?  whatever.  thirded.

happ / rizzo / baez / schwarber / contreras(DH) / heyward / bote / caratini / kipnis

hoerner must not be a 3rd base kind of guy.  bote is getting almost every start there (hoerner with 2 starts @3rd).

That '42' kid is really good!

Well if he shows up in Kenosha just let him know he's dead. But plenty of trump assholes will justify it. 

im kinda amazed 42 is getting to pitch the 6th after that cruddy 5th.

i can't take another just-short comeback...c'mon cubs, at least tie


Another late rally keeps the Cubs run differential on the positive side - so they got that going for them

Not that that helps. At all

tommy la stella has been traded from the angels to the a's.

franklin barreto coming over according to k.rosenthal...much better return than his last trade.

STL is down by 12 in the least they're gonna lose, too.

That's not gonna help their run differential ūü§ď

Adbert Alzolay is the "29th man" for Saturday's doubleheader. 

mark grace misses "his turn" in the booth after his low-key off-air break and len/jd go without a guest for a little while.

he's still part of marquee's analysts according to their webpage, but the last he was heard from he was subbing for bob in the booth for a Fox AZ broadcast.

hoener is getting his 3rd shot at 3rd base on the bote a rest.

grace is doing the post-game show for Fox AZ tonight.

caratini is getting good at catcher's interference...which isn't good...weird this happens to him multiple times.

Yu seems to be carrying the team. 6-1 and has already matched his 2019 win total (should have had more wins last year thru no fault of his own post-all star game)

who would have figured after he did poor enough to not opt out of his contract that it might come back to be a cubs benefit...

he's been amazing since mid-season last year.

that sky over CIN right now,

alzolay only got 1 inning after mills only goes 3ip...interesting use of a "burner" roster slot pitcher here for the double header.

single and walked one to start, but followed it up by getting out of the inning with a couple Ks.

also in that inning, rizzo baited some ejections out of the reds dugout...further cementing him as one of the players CIN fans despise.  it's not the first time rizzo has screwed around with making CIN player tempers flare.

What a waste of Alzolay after his great start.

kimbrel gets his 1st save chance in a while...1 whole run to work with.  totally not nervous over here...

sigh.  well, that didn't work out well.  tie game.

...and the reds win...on a wild pitch...his 3rd of the inning...

2 walks, 3 wild pitches, a a couple K's in there, there's that.

Let's hope Ross has given Kimbrel his last save  chance of 2020. That inning was peak Cub Kimbrel.

early returns on ross and the amount of leash he'll give a pitcher in trouble is rather astounding.  he doesn't seem to be a fan of mid-inning pitcher replacement.

I think that's something he will learn he needs to do. It's probably leftover feeling as a catcher and knowing pitchers don't like that.

I don't know what conversations are happening in the dugout at the time, but he needs his pitching coach to say "get him out of there, he's got nothing."

 Regardless, Ross needs to gain a better feel for when to take a pitcher out. And he needs to give up on Kimbrel as the closer for at least this year.

Ross had been thrown out of the game on the pitch thrown over Rizzo's head. 
I know he might still have made the Kimbrel decision but there is that.

That was a tough wild pitch. It did bounce, but your receiver's job is to block that.

If 2018 Chatwood shows up again today, that will be cruel and unusual punishment following last nights Kimbrel meltdown. Of course, a bases clearing double by a Cub probably would have sealed the game but I suppose that's too much to ask. 

A's have a positive coronavirus test. Game between Astro-A's cancelled.

Cubs acquire former Cardinal Jose Martinez for 2 PTBNLs.

 can't wait to see what monsters the Rays turn those two prospects into.

Please not Marquez, Davis, Roederer, Alzolay, Franklin, or Jensen. (Roederer, Franklin, and Jensen are the most likely cause they can only be PTBNL right now)

That's a bit of a head scratcher. I guess he fills Souza's role, to the extent that Souza had a role. Hate to sub his defense in for Heyward even against lefties, though.

Pure DH.

Caratini is back to being the backup catcher.

Jose Martinez is under club control for two seasons beyond 2020 (through 2022), so the PTBNL are probably going to be a couple of decent prospects (maybe something like INF Pedro Martinez and RHSP Chris Clarke). Steven Souza is only under control through 2020 (he is a free-agent after this season), so the Martinez acquisition is also about 2021 and 2022.  

Martinez can be the primary RH DH in 2020 and also beyond (if the universal DH continues past 2020), and he can play 1B if anything happens to Rizzo or if Ross just wants to give Rizzo a day off against a LHSP and RF or LF if anything happens to Heyward or Schwarber or if Ross wants to give one of them a day off. This also should mean less OF time for Kris Bryant (once he is reinstated from the IL).  

it really seems like we might be seeing that last of some core guys.  almora is all but gone already...i dunno if we'll see bryant after this year...paying lester $25m vs $10m to go elsewhere is looking like a $10m sunk cost at this point...

one more cheap year of rizzo...contreras is about to start costing big loot...

they have to replenish the minors with talent that's 2022-ready.  well, replenish would mean there was anything other than their top/1st round picks that did anything worth mentioning to begin with...they need a minor league, period...hopefully one that doesn't inovolve intentionally tanking for years.

Agreed with pretty much all you said. Think they've gotta get at least a couple of Javy, Rizzo, Willson signed to extensions ASAP. Or bring them back in FA. Extend the window. But they've GOT to supplement that group (and an emerging Happ with Yu and Hendrick in rotation) with more than Caratini and Hoerner. Both solid but secondary pieces.

I would not be happy if the return for Martinez were Pedro Martinez and Chris Clarke. I think Martinez is a great fit for what the Cubs need, but he hits LHP and that's really about it as far as the value he brings. He's 32 and a non-tender candidate for next year. The Cubs took a little salary off the Rays' books and freed up a DH logjam with this move, and I'd expect at most one prospect and cash or even just cash to round this one out.

Wut happened to Chatty?

Left with "right elbow discomfort" - will be further evaluated tomorrow 

he was working hard to throw 90-91 before he exited and was throwing a lot of off-speed stuff rather than the fastball.  spiking an off-speed offering into the dirt before calling the trainer isn't a good look.  it might be the last we see of chatwood.

right elbow...sigh.

If it is Clarke like Phil suspects you know he'll make the majors.  It's the only way that Theo can get a pitcher he drafted to the majors is trade them away.

schwarber HR!  grand slam.

happ, heyward, and schwarber all have 2HR today.

Len said it was Noah's Ark w Schwarber, Happ and J-Hey, 2x2x2

breaking news: padres trade for everyone.  no, literally everyone.  they are currently 900+ over roster slot size after obtaining every single MLB player in the game.

it's a big brain move because you can't have playoffs if other teams don't have players.  checkmate.

 Breaking News part two: Cubs trade for everyone else

Osich Chafin and Maybin. Osich has two more years of team control. All trades are for PTBNLs. Again, hoping like crazy we gave up next to nothing.

we gained next to nothing...that's for sure...

maybin isn't worth a f'n roster spot...we already got almora sucking at the role maybin sucks at...

josh did he even find work after the crap he did for the wsox last year?  BOS was more that willing to let the HR parade continue, and now the cubs are gonna get some of that.  having good control doesn't do much good when you're throwing batting practice.

i like the chafin pickup, at least...probably not high-impact, though.

Nothing?? We got an old ish injury prone replacement level corner OF, an injured LHRP, a bad LHRP (with team control BABY), and what I would call the RH version of Kyle Schwarber with the shocking exception that he makes Schwarber look like Mike Trout defensively

Seriously, if they gave up anything of actual value they need their heads examined. I believe in our front office but these are some real weird trades

Edit: Z Short traded for Maybin. That's more value than Maybin is worth. I think Short is at worst a backup middle IF  with minimal offense. But the writing was on the wall when he was the only healthy guy on the 40 man  not invited to South Bend.

Perhaps it will be refreshing to see different pitchers come out of the pen and suck.  If either Osich or Chafin can be replacement level bullpen lefty then it's an incremental improvement.

i.miller and h.perez DFA'd

Albert Almora has more DFA armor than Tyrion Lannister had plot armor.

Chatwood w Pronator strain. Better than UCL but it's the anatomy right next door (flexor-pronator muscle origin). Expect IL stay.

What a bummer for him. In addition to the physical pain and difficulty of recovering from any arm injury, he must feel tantalized by his abbreviated periods of success in 2019 and at the beginning of this season.

if this is it for him as a cub, it's been hard to watch.  he had 2 starts to begin the season where it looked like he could be great...then 2 awful ones...and his injury start...

3 seasons...30 starts, 37 relief...

199ip 179h 141bb 184k, 4.70era/1.61whip

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  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 1 min ago (view)

    Dillon Maples does not have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 9 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if he is not added back to the 40 in the meantime. 


  • crunch 11 hours 14 min ago (view)

    p.wisdom is the new cubs all-time rookie HR leader.


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 31 min ago (view)

    The Cubs will very likely be splitting the AZIL position players into two 14-man squads (like they did last year), with each squad playng in every other-game, and with the other squad having a Camp Day instructional work-out on a back-field when that squad is not playing in a game. There will also be five combined Camp Days during the course of the four weeks for all players from both squads.  


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 54 min ago (view)

    DJL: No. Signing a 2022 minor league successor contract would only matter with regard to a player in the Arizona Fall League, because the AFL schedule goes past the date when minor leaguers are declared free-agents. 

    AZ Instructs ends on October 16th, which is about two or three weeks before minor league free-agency, so the three guys at Cubs Instructs who are eligible to be free-agehts after the World Series (Dakota Chalmers. Nicholas Padilla, and Eury Ramos) do not need to sign successor contracts in order to play in AZIL games. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Sorry to hear about your dad, Charlie. I lost my father almost 2 years ago now, some of my fondest childhood memories are going to Wrigley with him.

    All the best wishes to you, sir.


  • First.Pitch.120 15 hours 12 min ago (view)

    If you had Bote in the '11-'12- '13 Cubs draft dead pool, then you are a winner!


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 45 min ago (view)

    Dakota Chalmers... interesting. He's scheduled to be a MILB FA, correct? Would this be a good sign he has signed a successor deal?


  • Cubster 16 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Maples dfa. Double Martini too.  Hoerner and Thompson back and Keegan to start today. Hoerner bats 5th.


  • crunch 16 hours 29 min ago (view)

    it's never a good time to be in the hospital, but things are extra complicated right now.

    hope everything goes well for everyone.

    go cubs


  • Charlie 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Listening to this in a hospital room because we are blacked out on I don't know which surprises me more, that the Cubs haven't beaten the Brewers since April or that the Cubs beat the Brewers in April.


  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    m.rodriguez to 10d IL, a.morgan returns.


  • Jackstraw 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    I like that the team was absolutely committed to not losing back-to-back games on a walk-off passed ball.


  • Eric S 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    And the funny thing is Rucker was the only Cubs pitcher tonight to post 0 runs allowed in the box score. You know things are really out of hand when Ross gives the okay for a Maples appearance.


  • George Altman 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil,

    Is there a reason Preciado hasn't been in an ACL game in about a month?


  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    i'd like the 2021 version of whatever d.ross is smoking bringing m.rucker into a bases loaded, 2 run lead in the 4th situation.

    dude saw the situation and said "gimmie that guy with the 8.44era 1.59whip" as the first pen option to protect a lead.

    rucker has been in 13 games and given up runs in 8 of them.


  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    hendricks last 7 starts...

    9er, 1er, 4er, 8er, 6er, 1er, 7er

    3.68era - 1.29whip 4.81era - 1.35whip