Pirates @ Cubs: Kuhl vs Arrieta (Game 131)

PIT (63-69): RHP Chad Kuhl (6-9, 4.52)
CHC (70-60): RHP Jake Arrieta (13-8, 3.49) 
First pitch: 7:05pmCST

Arrieta had a no-decision in Cincinnati on Thursday. He’s 5-1 with a 1.78 since the All-star Break. That’ll do.

In his three starts against the Pirates this year, Jake is 0-2 with a 4.50. Overall, they are 64-275 (.233) against him. Bell is 6-11 with a HR.

Kuhl lost to the Dodgers his last time out (4 IP, 2 ER, 2 K, 5 BB). He’s 0-1 with a 19.29 ERA in two games against the Cubs this season. He’s 4-5 with a 4.86 at home so far. For their careers, the Cubs are 24-57 (.421) against him. Heyward is 4-8 with a HR.

Nova (11-11) and Quintana (8-11) finish the series tomorrow at the same time.

Go Cubs!


FAKE NEWS EDIT. #MTCRGA anyway, lester pen tomorrow. could be back by week's end or this weekend if he doesn't go on a minor league rehab assignment.

That's good news... at the same time, I'm all for them sending him somewhere to do one rehab start just to make sure everything is going swell. What I don't want is for him to have any sort of problems in his first start back and not only result in a loss, but to further deplete their bullpen. Montgomery deserves at least one more start, and if the front office/Maddon is comfortable with it, I'm fine with a 6 man-rotation the rest of the way (and can alternate L/R/L/R/L/R). With roster expansion just days away, the bullpen will get some reserves to throw during whatever garbage innings exist for the remainder of the season. So I don't see Montgomery being as much of a necessity for the bullpen. Although one thing to watch for Montgomery is his innings pitched on the year. He pitched 100 last year and is at 109.1 this season, so honestly, I don't think they want to let him get way past 120 to 130 IP (especially considering he'll hopefully pitch more in the postseason), so maybe they shouldn't go to a 6-man rotation?

I would love to see the 6-man rotation for September. Montgomery ready to go 2-3 innings would definitely be a plus for October. It could help to avoid over exposing some of the struggling bullpen arms as well as shaky starters.

Rizzo donated $3.5 million to Lurie Children's hospital's cancer ward today. He is there on a regular basis, bringing gifts and hanging out with the kids. That is one seriously good dude.

This is the first you've heard this? He has been committed for sevearl years and his foundation has been raising serious money for children's lymphoma and other forms of cancer. And, you are so right: in this "ME" world with fake news, he is the type of person I wish more people could model.

No, it's pretty well known in Chicago. Today's $3.5 million was news.

That's half his annual salary -- before taxes, no less. I mean, it's a huge amount no matter what, but it's not like he's earning a huge amount.

With off field earnings (e.g. Bryzzo) he's making a nice living. But that takes nothing away from that amazing gesture.

arrieta is popping the glove with some 93-94mph offerings, but all his pitches have so much movement they're rather wild. tighten it up a bit and PIT isn't gonna have a good night.

Look at Cubs offense over the last 10 days with Zobrist in leadoff, versus not in leadoff. Not a coincidence. Surely someone in uniform understands the correlation.

you pissed off zobrist. continue doing so.

On tonight's Gameday feed: "RT @CEmma670: Ben Zobrist has a career-best hard contact rate and a career-worst BABIP this season. His fortunes are turning. He can give the Cubs a boost." Wasn't aware of his hard contact rate vs. BABIP issue. I'll have to check out his Fangraphs page. You'd think someone would have mentioned this before now.

Boy, that does not meet wheat my eyes have seen this season with Zobrist. Lots of pop-ups and grounders, I woudl have guessed.

Love me some Koji. Just nails since the ASG. ARIGATO, BITCH!

I'm sure Joe has some logic for using Koij in a close game. But, for the life of me, I can't figure it out. Did Joe lose a bet to Koji at some point?

At some point, where does he turn? Can't use Strop and Edward's Jr every single game. Rondon, No. Wilson, No. Koji, No. We clearly need more Grimm.

j.jay is a 0.00era 1.00whip pitcher. they could use him until maddon teaches zobrist how to pitch.

Win. 3.5 Game lead. Want 6+ game lead before we head into the stretch of playing MIL and STL 48 straight games.

Jake now 7th in NL in ERA. Boras' voicemail message changed to: "Bwaaaahahahah!!"

Still think most clubs would hesitate to take a big risk on him. But yes, his second half should be able to afford him a few extra rounds of Golf at Trump National.

@billybucks- So true, but we who've seen him pitch over the last 4+ years all know that we've already gotten his best. Maybe he's got one season in him that's better than his 2017, but no way does it match his 2015 or first half 2016. So that Boris laughter is probably directed towards the teams who are ready to throw big money his way.

I agree we have seen his best -- but I think contending teams will pay up for a 3.50 ERA for the next few years with the confidence and experience that Jake brings.

If the Cubs weren't stuck with Heyward's crap contract, they could take the $$ risk with re-signing Jake. Just sayin'.

Ah, finally a subtle benefit of the JHey contract! Reminds me of the value of EJax in the rebuild.

i'd take arrieta over giving heyward 23m/y for heyward's 2-ish chances a game to be good in RF while hitting .240/.310/.346 heyward isn't dead weight (not counting his cruddy playoffs last year), but even for a non-star role player he's having a hard time filling his role with almost 2 seasons under his belt.

I believe there are more than half a dozen teams that will pay "whatever" for him and eat the back-end of his contract. I'd include the Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers among them. The Dodgers seemingly could buy the island of Aruba right now and it does nothing to its deep pockets. Of course they could DFA Aruba, eat the expense, and then buy Bimini - so there's that.

EJAX Did they also give Ejax a WS Ring? It would have been hard to "earn" those high draft picks without his "contributions". I consider it money well spent. It would have been hard to suck that bad without him.

That is an excellent idea. The entire ground crew should get one. Also, my vendor, Rich should get one too because he helps to keep the crowd along the 1st base side motivated with Goose, Bud and Bud Light.

i can't imagine a situation where the cubs wouldn't hesitate to move a guy hitting .240/.310/.346 in almost 2 full seasons that's owed $135m if someone came knocking. i also can't imagine anyone lining up to take that contact. the only steady thing one can say about him is he does well above average in the 2-ish chances a game he gets in the OF playing D. i think the cubs are stuck with this contract for a while unless they want to eat a nice chunk of loot. i don't see heyward using any of his opt-outs without a radical change in what he's doing at the plate. luckily, the cubs have plenty of money to absorb this mis-investment because they have a slew of cheap MLB-quality youth.

Heyward's paychecks add up to $28 million this year. The difference between that and $23 million is enough to buy--I don't know, twenty John Mallees?--until we get a hitting coach who can communicate to Heyward the importance of guessing fastball once in a while in order to get the bat there on time.

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  • crunch 2 min 12 sec ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.


  • bradsbeard 1 hour 44 min ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 1 min ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 5 min ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 18 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 


  • Sonicwind75 3 hours 34 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t


  • bradsbeard 3 hours 34 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  


  • bradsbeard 6 hours 54 min ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:



  • Hagsag 8 hours 11 min ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 min ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher. 


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    ATL signs cole hamels 1/18m...a'ite then.

    also, z.wheeler 5/100+ to the phillies.