Cubs vs. Reds: Series Thread (Games 135-137)

The Cubs return to Wrigely for a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, who trail the Cubs in the division by a small margin. See below for daily matchups.


Game 135, Tuesday, September 6, 6:40 pm central

CHC: LHP Wade Miley (1-0, 2.84 ERA)

CIN: RHP Justin Dunn (1-2, 4.63 ERA)


Game 136, Wednesday, September 7, 6:40 pm central

CHC: TBD

CIN: LHP Mike Minor (3-10, 5.98 ERA)


Game 137, Thursday, September 8, 1:20 pm central

CHC: TBD

CIN: RHP Luis Cessa (3-2, 5.18 ERA)

Comments

wesneski will be initially used out of the pen.

miley walks the lead-off man on 4 pitches.

welcome back.  you're 2022 cubs ready, bro.

wesneski debut is a 3-pitch K...followed by a 4-pitch K...

people will get slight kerry wood flashbacks seeing the action on that slider.

I can't believe you said that, crunch. I had just texted my grown son that his slider reminded me of Wood"s effort. Wood's curve was more devastating that day, but Wesneswski has better stuff than a Cub rookie since maybe Farnsworth. Good call. 

i wasn't a big fan of the effross trade until i saw him pitch.  i get it now.

i'm not expecting him to become an ace, but i wouldn't be shocked to see him develop into an ace.

i know it's early for everyone, but im kinda stoked about thompson/steele/wesneski.

alzolay and kilian are in the mix, too.

stroman and hendricks are around for another year.

so i guess the cubs can sign aaron judge and trea turner.  maybe arenado will opt out and they can get him, too.  nice.  get it done.

I can't remember ever having this type of depth... chances are that at least 1 (maybe 2) of Killian, Thompson, Wesneski are the "depth options" pitching at AAA.

I'm also loving this pitching depth, but it feels like odds are better that they keep at least one of the young starters who doesn't make the MLB rotation in the MLB pen as a long reliever like they did with Steele and Thompson this year (as long as the guy proves he can handle it), and then stretch that guy out as a starter if someone gets hurt.  Keeps their innings down, avoids chance of overuse injuries, etc.

cubs have 11 walks tonight...at the plate, not pitching...

playing crap teams is a bit of joy in 2022.

nico hits a f'n triple into the left field corner while typing this...left field...wtf...reds f'n suck.

wesneski debut, in relief to start the 5th...ends up with the win on a starter's short-outting workload.

5ip 2h 1bb 8k, 0r, 61 pitches

he didn't give up his first hit until 4.1ip into the game.

it's kinda important to consider 1- it's vs the crappy reds 2- he faced almost all RH hitters.  still, really great outing.

Yeah, that slider was on point. And what was that pitch he had in the upper 80's that looked like it bore into the right handed batters? A cutter? A two-seam fastball? I wasn't watching it live and I'm lost without Gameday to ID some of those non-obvious pitches. 

Hmmm. His scouting report (via Lance Brozdowski on the Marquee website) says he's got a cutter, sinker & change-up to go along with his four-seam fastball and the slider. So that upper 80's pitch could have been a sinker (two-seam fastball) or a change up. I'm guessing his cutter breaks away from right handers, like the slider, instead of boring into them. 
 

That slider grades out at 147 in Stuff+ ratings. No kidding!

That's his changeup, but last night on Twitter Lance from Marquee Network said he holds it like a splitter, but Wesneski calls it a changeup. He only throws it versus lefties about 20% of the time. Nasty action though

I just got a look at Rob Friedman's Twitter video, "Hayden Weseski, 92mph Two Seamer and 82mph Breaking Ball, Overlay" (posted in an article on the official Cubs.com site) and I think the pitch I was trying to identify was a high 80's two-seamer -- Gameday had the two-seamer in an 88-92mph range last night.  Anyway, that makes it a pretty effective pairing with that high-80's slider, not to mention the low 80's "breaking ball", which Gameday labeled as a curveball.  He gets movement on his pitches, for sure!

assad gets the WED start

Miley wins the evening in the post-game interview:

"When the 35-year-old Miley walked into the interview room after the win, he was armed with a one-liner.

“I don’t know why you want to talk to me,” Miley quipped. “Did you see what that kid just did? I’m just the opener.”
https://www.mlb.com/cubs/news/hayden-wesneski-throws-five-scoreless-inni...

Re: Trading For Ohtani....

Just noting that according to MLB Pipeline, the LAA org top 30 prospects contains only 5 OF-ers, with org ranks of #14, #17, #18, #21, & #30.

#14 only grades @ 45 & is playing in the Dominican right now as a 17 yr old. 
#17 is another 17-yr-old DSL player.
#18 is a toolsy, power-oriented, K-machine underperforming @ A-ball
#21 was a 1st rd pick in 2018 who just reached AA midseason w/ 80 speed, 60 field, & an OPS below .700 for the past 2 seasons.
#30 came in the Syndergaard deal & could be interesting, but is still in A ball as a 21 year old drafted in 2019

That is some [email protected]$$ OF depth... Canario or Caissie would instantly become the best OF prospect in the LAA system & slot in something like 7/8 in LAA's org ranking. Heck, I think that Pinango, Perlaza, or Hill might take that title if traded (no offense to Darius or either of the Y.P.'s).

Not that it would be a 1-for-1, but I do think that the pieces exist (in the right complimenting areas) to make a deal feasible.

We will not get Ohtani, but if we do....

I suspect Crow-Armstrong heads to LAA

I would think the Angels would want direct replacements for Ohtani, a DH (Mervis) and a LHSP (Wicks), plus a top OF prospect (probably PCA), and a second pitching prospect like D. J. Herz, AND the Cubs would have to take back 3B Anthony Rendon and pay 100% of what's left of his contract ($38M per year 2023-26 with a $35M AAV hit for the next four seasons). All that for just one year of Ohtani, with the hope (pipedream?) that the Cubs can  MAYBE sign him to a contract extension (10/$500M?) before he hits free-agency. 

However, the Cubs are about $55M under the CBT threshold right now and will get about $35M more in AAV back post-2022 ($45M if Contreras signs elsewhere), so adding Ohtani (and whatever he will get in 2023 through arbitration) and the A. Rendon contract wouldn't break the bank. And then the Cubs would get an additional $60M AAV back post-2023 when the Heyward and Hendricks contracts come off the books. 

If a trade like that happened, the down-to-the-studs rebuild would have to be postponed indefinitely and the Cubs would suddenly become a legit 2023 N. L. Central contender AND an extremely attactive destination for an elite free-agent SS like Correa, Bogaerts, or T. Turner and/or an elite FA SP like Jacob deGrom. The Cubs might even choose ro sign Contreras and Happ to contract extensions. 

So if the Angels are actually willing tp move Ohtani post-2022 and the prospect return from the Cubs is sufficient (not to mention the added benefit of the Cubs relieving the Angels of Rendon's contract), I would make rhat trade in a Disneyland minute.     

BTW, with respect to Anthony Rendon, he has played 155 games (equal to about one full MLB season) for the Angels since signing with them post-2018, and he has hit 252/359/421 (115 OPS+) with 20 HR, 35 doubles, and 90/104 BB/K in 669 PA while playing acceptable defense at 3B, all of which isn't worth $38M per year ($35M AAV) but also isn't necessarily all that bad - IF - he can stay healthy (big IF). It's not like the Cubs have a lot of better options (now or in the near-future) at 3B, and if taking back Rendon would be part of the price to acquire Ohtani, I'd be willing to take a chance on him having a bounce-back year in 2023 (and hopefully beyond). 

they seem to be strongly leaning toward handing morel 3rd.  he's gone from playing various places to just hanging out at 3rd lately.

he's a better 2nd baseman, but that's spoken for.  it would be nice if he could handle CF, but he hasn't looked good there.

What does Nico Hoerner have to do to convince the front office to not pursue a FA shortstop?

i wonder where the team will upgrade.  CF and 1st are only obvious holes in the lineup (assuming they want morel at 3rd).

a rizzo return to CHI would be a bat upgrade, but he's not much of a 1st baseman anymore.  brandon nimmo is the only CF of interest, but he carries career-long injury risk.

trades open up all kinds of options beyond CF and 1st for upgrades, but that's what's in play right now.  morel is a more natural 2nd than 3rd...for all we know arenado could opt out after the season and suddenly trading madrigal is in play...or a variety of other spit-ball scenerios.

the team has a lot to work with young prospects, mlb-ready players/prospects, and established vets (such as happ) this off-season.

i'm down for whatever it takes to be favorites to win the NL Central going into spring training.

there are so few people at the game you can hear 1/2 dozen different vendors yelling in the stands.

thursday game streaming free on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc2SSlcl2Ek

mckinstry is the lead off hitter and mark leiter jr is coming in the 9th for a save chance.

i am 100% officially done with the 2022 cubs.

Walks the lead off man. In disappointing, he does not disappoint. :(

but wait...there's more!

woo tie game.  good job everyone.  2 crap teams playing crap baseball don't need extra help being crap.

BUT WAIT...THERE'S MORE!

hey look, the reds are winning.

WELL THAT WAS JUST TERRIBLE.

Baaaaaaad bullpen!

morel seeing action starting in CF for the first time in a while @SF

bote at 3rd.

pitch clock and banning the shift is a 2023 thing...also bases going from 15" to 18"

15-second clock with bases empty, 20 with runners on, batter 1 time out per PA

2 IF'rs on either side of 2nd base when pitch is released, feet on dirt when pitcher is on the rubber.

I hate to see bans on innovation. Yes, the shift makes the game less interesting, but in time it would put a premium on bat control and players who hit to all fields. Those skills can  be taught, and they would make the game more interesting. 

the one i really hate is the man on 2nd in extras.  it screws up a lot of stats and how the game is approached.

stats aren't the most important thing, but this is a game that places a high importance on stats.

yeah, the runner at 2nd doesn't count as an earned run, but so many innings start with an intentional walk to set up force outs...amongst other things that change how the game is played such as starting the inning pitching out of the stretch.

i can't deny that it is a bit more exciting, though.

Having two balls in play would be even more exciting!

technically every baseball player has 2 balls in play...except connor joe and james taillon.

Couldn't find the exact quote, but John Kruk once said something along the lines of "I gave my right nut to that team". 

Maybe Keibert Ruiz soon too