Cubs @ Pirates: Quintana vs Cole (Game 139)

CHC (75-63): LHP José Quintana (9-11, 4.49) 
PIT (67-72): RHP Gerrit Cole (11-9, 4.11) 
First pitch: 6:05pmCST

Quintana, who went 3-2 with a 5.73 in August, beat the Pirates on Wednesday (6 IP, 3 ER, 9 K, 0 BB). Overall, they are 16-49 (.327) against him. Freese and McCutchen are 3-6, Bell (1-3) and Rodriguez (3-7) have HRs.

Cole has had a down year, although not against the Cubs, against whom he’s 1-1 with a 1.38. His last outing was a 5 ER, 6-inning loss against the Reds. For their careers, the Cubs are 35-160 (.219) against him. Rizzo, who was told by the magic iPad to stay on the bench and watch the Cubs lose last night’s game by a run, is 9-29.

Lester (9-7) and Taillon (7-5) go tomorrow at the same time.

Go Cubs!


The Philadelphia Phillies have traded RHRP Juan Nicasio to the St. Louis Cardinals for INF Eliezer Alvarez. Nicasio will not be eligible to play for the Cards in the post-season, but he could help them get there. 

The Phils claimed Nicasio off Outright Assignment Waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on 8/31. 

But remember... 

A club is not permitted to make a waiver claim and then trade the player to another club if the purpose or effect of the claim was to prevent a third club from being awarded the waiver claim. (A waiver claim that is judged by the MLB Commissioner to have been made for this purpose will be revoked).

So - IF - another club that had a waiver claim priority between the Phillies and the Cardinals as of 9 AM on 8/31 put in a claim on Nicasio but was not awarded the claim because the Phillies had a worse record, that club could file a grievance and the whole House of Cards could come crashing down. The original waiver claim by the Phillies would get revoked, the trade between the Phillies and the Cardinals would be revoked, the third club (the one that wasn't awarded the waiver claim on 8/31) gets Nicasio for the $50,000 waiver price, and Nicasio would likely be ruled eligible to play in the post-season with that club (since that club should have been awarded the claim on 8/31).  

Again, that's - ONLY - if another club (besides the Phillies) put in a claim when Nicasio was on Outright Assignment Waivers 8/29 - 8/31 - AND - that club cares enough to file a grievance.

If I'm Theo & Jed, I'm calling all clubs who had a waiver claim priority between the Phils and Cards on 8/31 (SF, CHW, CIN, OAK, NYM, DET, SD, TOR, ATL, SEA, KC, MIA, TB, and TEX) to find out if another claim was made, and if so, I would certainly encourage that club to Do the Right Thing and file a grievance. 

Here is an example of it:


dont players go through their own league before teams in the other get a chance to claim the player? So the cubs would have a shot before the white sox or did the new cba change that?

NICKEL23: The procedure for awarding waiver claims is different depending on the type of waivers and the time of the year.


1. For Outright Assignment Waivers and Outright Release Waivers (but NOT for Trade Assignment Waivers): If a player is claimed by only one club, that club is awarded the claim. If more than one club makes a claim, the club with the lowest winning percentage (regardless of league) either from the previous season (beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season through the 30th day of the MLB regular season) or on the day the player clears waivers (beginning on the 31st day of the MLB regular season through the last day of the MLB regular season) is awarded the claim. If two clubs with the same winning percentage make a claim, the club in the player's own league is awarded the claim. If two clubs from the same league make a claim and they are tied in the standings, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season is awarded the claim. If the clubs are still tied, standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.

2. For Trade Assignment Waivers (only): If a player is claimed by more than one club, the club in the player's own league with the lowest winning percentage is awarded the claim, even if that club has a higher winning percentage than the club or clubs making a claim from the other league. So a player placed on Trade Assignment Waivers must essentially be "waived out of his own league" before he can be assigned to a club in the other league. But again, this ONLY applies to Trade Assignment Waiver claims. 


1. During the off-season and up through the first 30 days of he MLB regular season, the previous season's MLB standings are used to determine waiver claim priority. 

2. Beginning on the 31st day of the MLB regular season through the conclusion of the MLB regular season, the MLB standings as of the date the player clears waivers are used to determine waiver claim priority, with the previous season's MLB standings only used to break ties.


A club is not permitted to make a waiver claim and then trade the player to another club if the purpose or effect of the claim was to prevent a third club from being awarded the waiver claim. (A waiver claim that is judged by the MLB Commissioner to have been made for this purpose will be revoked).


So (reportedly) what happened with Juan Nicasio is this: 

According to Pirates GM Neal Huntington, the Bucs placed Nicasio on Trade Assignment Waivers sometime around 8/25, and he was claimed by a National League Central club (Reds, Brewers, Cardinals, or Cubs, but it was probably the Cards). The waiver request was then withdrawn (since Trade Assignment Waiver requests are revocable the first time they are requested by a team), because Huntington said he did not want Nicasio to go to a team in the N. L. Central. (Remember, clubs in the same league have waiver claim priority over clubs in the other league for Trade Assignment Waivers ONLY). 

The Pirates then placed Nicasio on Outright Assignment Waivers (which cannot be withdrawn if a claim is made), hoping he would be claimed by an American League team (since no distinction is made between leagues when determiining waiver claim priority for Outright Assignment Waiver requests). But then the Phillies unexpectedly claimed Nicasio off Outright Assignment Waivers (after not claiming him off Trade Assignment Waivers a few days earlier) and were awarded the claim on 8/31. The Phillies then placed Nicasio on Trade Assignment Waivers within a day or two (which is the only way they could get a player back for him), and the Cardinals obviously won the claim and worked out a deal with the Phillies to acquire Nicasio.    

I think that it is fairly obvious that the Phillies claimed Nicasio of Outright Assignment Waivers for the purpose of placing him on Trade Waivers and trying to get a player back for him (which they did). The only problem with doing that is if another National League club or an American League club with a waiver claim priority between the Phillies and Cardinals on 8/31 (like the Texas Rangers, for example) put in a claim on Nicasio when he was on Outright Assignment Waivers 8/29 - 8/31 and then was not awarded the claim because the Phillies claimed him (the Phils had the worst record in MLB at the time). 

Is it possible that the Cardinals asked rhe Phillies to make the claim to keep Nicasio from being claimed by an A. L. club? (Not that the Cardinals would ever do something like that!).

I think what might be confusing is that in the Rule 5 Draft, a club picking early in the 1st round will sometimes make a proxy-pick for a club selecting lower in the 1st round, and then will subsequently trade the drafted player to the other club (usually for cash). Waivers are different, because the MLB office knows how many claims were made and which club(s) made the claim(s). There is no way to prove in a draft if a player would have been selected by a third club (with a draft slot between the club that makes the pick and the club that acquires the drafted player in a trade) if the third club had been given the chance. 

It sounds that Theo knows perfectly well who made the claim. As he submitted one.

TIM: If the Cubs claimed Juan Nicasio when he was on Outright Assignment Waivers 8/29 - 8/31 it wouldn't affect yesterday's trade between the Phiillies and Cardinals because only a club that had a waiver claim priority between the Phillies and Cardinals on 8/31 (like the Rangers, Royals, or Rays for example, but NOT the Cubs) - AND - that made a claim could file a grievance that could result in the trade being voided. (So the Cubs can't file the grievance, but another club that was affected by the Phils waiver claim and subsequent trade could). 
The MLB office does not advise clubs how many waiver claims were made and which clubs made claims. Sometimes the information leaks out, but the process is supposed to remain confidential and free from collusion.

If anybody is wondering how it was that the Phillies were able to place Juan Nicasio back on Trade Assignment Waivers after he had been placed on Trade Waivers and then pulled back by the Pirates last month, it's because the rule only applies if it's the same team. Once Nicasio was claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers by the Phillies on 8/31, the Phillies can place Nicasio on Trade Waivers again (and they could have pulled him back once he was claimed by the Cardinals if they were so inclined). 

And again, Nicasio was NOT placed on  Outright Release Waivers on 8/29 after the Pirates withdrew the Trade Waiver request. He was placed on Outright Assignment Waivers (which are usually used to outright a player to the minors, but in this case it was to allow A. L. clubs have a chance to win the waiver claim, since Outright Assignment Waiver claims are awarded to the club with the worse record regardless of league). 

Damn you are smart Phil.

Reds sweep Brewers! Let's go Q! Let's go bullpen!! Let's go offense!!!

I believe the "Magic Number" is now 19. I guess it has less meaning since we still play so many games against the Brewers and Cards.

BOB R: After today's Brewer loss at CIN, the Cubs Magic number is 21 over STL and 20 over MIL pending tonight's action. (Right now the Cardinals are one game ahead of the Brewers in the loss column, so the Cards are actually in second place by % points).   

But you are right about the magic number not meaning much right now. The Cubs have seven games left against both the Brewers and the Cardinals (including four games each at both MIL and STL).

There is also a very real possibility that the Cubs could end up being the #2 Wild Card team. 

"There is also a very real possibility that the Cubs could end up being the #2 Wild Card team" I have trouble seeing this, as if they lose enough ground to fall behind MIL or STL, it will be difficult to stay ahead of COL (or the other of STL/MIL that doesn't lose the division). Cubs lose 5 of 7 to those teams, that's 5 games they can't make up to win the WC.

baez returns...and hits 8th. jay/lastella pulling 1/2 duty. happ in CF.

ian happ spectacularly tripped over his own bat running to 1st. it got some serious air. he doesn't seem injured or amused.

some bad cubs D aside, this has been a boring/good game so far.

Like a lot of games this year -- some sloppy D, and some spectacular D. Bryant saved a run or 2 with a leaping catch, and Baez made a heads-up DP throwing 3rd (although Bryant nearly threw it away).

Cubs leaving hardly any RISP.

6ip 6h 1bb 6k, 0r/er 105 pitches.

Another game to be decided by the Cubs bullpen. That gives me confidence.

happ...bruh... when a pitcher throws 6 balls in a row, walking the dude before, don't swing at the 2-0 pitch outside the zone...or the 3-0 pitch outside the zone that would have walked you. but yeah, go ahead and K. nice.

AVILIA...BRUH... F'N TRIPLE! CUBS LEAD! first triple since 2013.

Avila -- throws out a runner in the bottom of the 8th, drives in the winning run in the 9th. That's 16 RBI in 24 games for him to go along with a .370 OBP and .812 OPS. Nice pickup there, Theo. Now, if his buddy Wilson can find his stuff...

cubs win! brews lose. cards playing a late game just starting.

Feels like a long time since the Cubs won a game like this. Good stuff. Props to Q and the bullpen. Now, even with a Brewers Sweep...Cubs will still be in first place. Cubs win 2 of 3 at Wrigley, Brewers will be far back in the rearview mirror.

Yep! It would have been really rough to lose back-to-back excellent outings by Hendricks and Q. Time to unpack the bats, boys. Let's put up some crooked numbers tomorrow.

Contreras out for rehab assignment with Myrtle Beach -- ummm, the Carolinas are in the path of the worst hurricane in decades.

BB latest I heard a few minutes ago is Irma not even hitting FL until Sunday. So Willy should be able to get a few games in at least if he's in Myrtle Beach. The whole path/direction is not very predictable however..

we'd be happy as hell if it would avoid us all-together in the carolinas (NC over here). i'm preparing a memo to send the storm. it will be stern. but yeah, the storm isn't going to be a potential issue here until monday/tuesday.

OK -- stay safe, brother.

CRUNCH: YOU could be the one to get credit for stopping the Hurricane there. Use your same no-hitter prevention magic. Get 'er done!

maybe i want the hurricane to hit...maybe i got some unfinished business with florida that i need taken care of...maybe florida knows exactly what it did...

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  • crunch 2 hours 15 min ago (view)

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


  • George Altman 3 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Let's hope so. It would be great next year to NOT have to 'piece together a bullpen'.


  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 52 min ago (view)

    DJL: I think that if Lester, Chatwood, Quintana, Jeffress, and Chafin leave via free-agency and do not return or are not replaced by at least one veteran MLB FA SP, the default Cubs 2021 Opening Day pitching staff will be Darvish, Hendricks, Mills (out of options), Alzolay (could be out of options - TBD), and either Rea, T. Miller, Steele, Abbott, Marquez, or D.


  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 46 min ago (view)

    I understand that any team can win a three-game series, but if I'm a division winner I'd want to be the #3 seed rather than the #2 seed in both the A. L. and the N. L., because I would rather face the worst second place team (Houston in the A. L. and probably Miami or Philadelphia in N. L.) than the best wild card team (Cleveland in the A. L. and probably Cincinnati or Milwaukee in the N.L.).  


  • Hagsag 12 hours 49 min ago (view)

    Maybe, if he makes the roster!


  • Charlie 18 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Jose Martinez is going to hit some big post season homerun, isn't he?


  • Cubster 21 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Is the Chafin experiment over yet?


  • crunch 21 hours 17 min ago (view)

    well that sucked.

    even with the loss the cubs officially clinched a playoff slot tonight, though.


  • crunch 21 hours 25 min ago (view)

    oh, it's totally the hitters unless the coach is forcing guys into trying ill advised changes...which is doubtful to the point of obsurdity for this many slumping hitters.

    it's just that a near team-wide hitting outage with no one getting "fixed" isn't a good look for a hitting coach.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 37 min ago (view)

    How many hitting coaches would that be over the past five years?

    At a certain point maybe it's just the hitters? I love the current group but we've been burning through hitting coaches recently


  • crunch 22 hours 4 min ago (view)

    anthony iapoce might want to start updating his resume...

    i'm not saying it's his fault, but it doesn't seem like much is going right with the bats and it's getting worse over time.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 23 hours 25 min ago (view)

    I look at the 8 man pen for next year and would assume 6 RHP 2 LHP. The LHP would currently be two of Ryan, Wieck, and Steele (and I guess Osich but I suspect he's non-tendered).

    The 6 RHP would be from Kimbrel, Wick, Tepera, Adam, Underwood, Alzolay, Winkler, Rea (and potentially others). I feel like they're only keeping one of Tepera/ Winkler for final arb year. Tough to say which is better value at this point.


  • crunch 23 hours 43 min ago (view)

    im impressed tepera has "only" given up 2hr in 19.2ip, but i wouldn't hold out on that holding up.  also, his control is sketchy as ever...

    he's got promising stuff, but at age 33 (few weeks from now) what more does he have to learn/show?

    it would probably cost the cubs 1.5m or so to keep him around (900K this year).  they liked something about him to pick him up, but who knows where that's at now...


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 35 min ago (view)

    Two Cubs reached significant milestones today: 

    1. OF Jason Heyward now has "10/5 no trade" rights and so he cannot be traded without his consent (he had a partial "no trade" the past couple of seasons); 


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    happ / contreras / rizzo / baez / schwarber / bote(3rd) / maybin(RF) / martinez(DH) / hoerner(2nd)


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    r.brothers, down...Q, up