Cubs vs. Cardinals (Game 42)
The Cubs now have a 3-game losing streak in the middle of this series. They come into the day 1.5 games ahead of the Cardinals in the division. Will they win the finale and hold the Cardinals at a distance, or will they find themselves with a rival right on their tail?
CHC (23-18): RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.78 ERA)
STL (17-15): RHP Johan Ovideo ((0-1, 4.30 ERA)
First pitch 3:10 pm central
Kyle Hendricks gets the role of stopper in the Cubs' final face-off with the Cardinals for the 2020 regular season. He pitched six strong innings on his way to a win over the Pirates five days ago. He struck out six and allowed the only run on a solo homerun. He lost to the Cardinals last month, allowing 3 earned runs in 6.1 innings. Hendricks has held current cards to a .205/.249/.309 slash line in 217 at-bats. Goldschmidt and to a lesser degree Yadier Molina have acquitted themselves reasonably well against him.
Johan Oviedo will be making his fourth MLB start. He brings a mid-90s fastball, a hard slider, and infrequently used curveballs and changeups. A patient Cubs lineup stacked for platoon advantage should have a reasonable chance to wear him down. He pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs last month against the Cubs.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 31 min ago (view)
Someone to keep an eye on in 2021 is RHP (ex-1B) Jerrick Suiter.
He was selected by the Cubs from the Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft and the Cubs immediately converted him from a mediocre AA first-baseman to a full-time pitcher, having seen him throw garbage innings in blow-outs for the Pirates AA Altoona affiliate in 2019.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 6 min ago (view)
Good to see Roederer and Velasquez providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development
Arizona Phil 7 hours 9 min ago (view)
The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster.
crunch 8 hours 32 min ago (view)
"He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."
reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.
Arizona Phil 9 hours 25 min ago (view)
Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away.
Arizona Phil 9 hours 41 min ago (view)
TIM: One of the things people wonder about when they see a young shortstop for the first time is does he have the arm and range necessary to play SS or would his tools maybe be better suited for 2B, 3B or OF. So far at Instructs Kevin Made has shown all of the attributes of a SS, and he is an advanced hitter (for his age) as well.
Arizona Phil 10 hours 19 min ago (view)
AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here.
He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.
His receiving should improve with experience as well.
azbobbop 23 hours 26 min ago (view)
Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?
tim815 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.
Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.
Arizona Phil 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.
As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later.
Arizona Phil 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:
RHP Josh Burgmann
RHP Chris Clarke
LHP D. J. Herz
RHP Michael McAvene
Charlie 3 days 6 hours ago (view)
This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.
bradsbeard 3 days 11 hours ago (view)
I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump.
crunch 4 days 30 min ago (view)
iapoce expected to stay. i'm surprised. i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.
crunch 4 days 1 hour ago (view)
i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 1 hour ago (view)
In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year