Cubs vs. Rockies: Seies Thread (Games 144-146)

The Cubs and the Rockies face off for a weekend series at Wrigley. See below for pitching matchups.

Game 144, Friday, September 16, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Marcus Stroman (3-7, 3.91 ERA)

COL: RHP German Marquez (8-10, 5.25 ERA)

Game 145, Saturday, September 17, 1:20 pm central

CHC: LHP Wade Miley (1-0, 2.89 ERA)

COL: RHP Jose Urena (3-6, 5.81 ERA)

Game 146, Sunday, September 18, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Javier Assad (1-10, 2.53 ERA)

COL: RHP Ryan Feltner (2-8, 6.12 ERA)


hottovy on alzolay...

"The organization views these final three weeks for Alzolay as “early season-type vibes,” Hottovy explained.

“We’re going to use this time to really make sure we have everything in line and prep for the offseason so that when he hits the offseason, we know exactly what to focus on,” Hottovy said. “But just getting him through it, keeping him healthy and letting him just go out and compete.”"


"Hottovy anticipates the Cubs having Alzolay stretched out over the offseason so he can give them multiple innings coming into spring training.

“We think he can be a great multi-inning reliever,” Hottovy said. “He’s got the stuff for it. He showed it in short bursts last year that he’s been able to thrive in that role.”"

I think that's probably his best role given all the injuries, his age now, and the inability to build innings this year.

I guess we'll see if Hottovy survives the offseason

i was hoping he would be a closer candidate, but that's with me not sure if he is capable of working 2-3 days in a row.

a long relief candidate not around solely for mop-up is a hell of a luxury.  i'm about it.

it also keeps open a chance to move into the rotation in 2024 if he can stay healthy and put in good workload.

Pretty much my thoughts exactly on potentially pushing to a starter role in 2024.

I think he fits better in that role than closer because he's proven he can get up and down, throw multiple innings and get through a lineup at least once.

Beginning on Saturday 9/17 there are 19 days left in the MLB regular season, so players who have not been optioned to the minors in 2022 (like Assad, Estrada, Uelmen, Wesneski, and Young, for instance) can be optioned without burning an option year. (A minor league option year is burned only if a player spends at least twenty days on optional assignment).   

Anyone else excited to see how this team closes out the last 3 weeks against weak competition? We should be able to stay above .500 since the all-star break, even if we give all the on the cusp 40-man roster players a small chance to prove themselves. I'm actually looking forward to next years team and the arrival of some better prospects throughout the season. I don't even think we have to make too many big offseason free agent signings to field a competitive team anymore. 

Just saw the update that Weneski will get the start on Saturday. 

Why Jared Young? 27 year old left handed first baseman with.228/.310/.413 (.723 OPS) w/ 16 HR and 108 K's in 395 AB in AAA. Looks kinda meh.  What am I not seeing?

JOE P: I think the reason the Cubs selected Jared Young instead of Darius Hill is because the Cubs know that Hill will very likely be claimed off waivers if the Cubs find they need his 40-man roster slot after the conclusion of the regular season and they don't want to possibly lose him off waivers for $50,000 with no right to re-claim.

Conversely, I suspect the Cubs don't feel quite as strongly about losing Young off waivers, especially since (unlike Hill) he appears to be a "4-A" type (a defensively challenged bat-first utility player or DH with some HR power but whose hit tool has not developed as was hoped back when he was drafted).

Hill projects as an everyday or at least a platoon MLB LF (which the Cubs won't need as long as Ian Happ is on the team). Although Hill has played CF and RF in addition to LF in the minors, everybody I have talked to says Hill's ceiling is a Michael Brantley-type high-AVG hitter at the MLB level. He is a LF. He is NOT an MLB "4th OF" (so he would not be a roster replacement for Rafael Ortega).

mckinstry has learned how to hit suddenly.

since it looks like he's our new zobrist (well, bench/injury/rest zobrist), hopefully he can keep it up next season.

CRUNCH: McKinstry has hit great in AAA, so I would imagine the Cubs figured (hoped) it was just a matter of time before he started hitting in MLB. However, even if he keeps hitting he will remain on the bubble to retain his slot on the 40, partly because he will be out of minor league options in 2023 (diminishing his roster value), and because the Cubs have so many post-2022 Rule 5 Draft eligibles they will likely want to protect. 

Cubs AFL (Mesa): Brennen Davis, OF; Matt Mervis, 1B; Bailey Horn, LHP; Zac Leigh, RHP; Riley Martin, LHP; Sheldon Reed, RHP

Amaya had been included too but seems to have been dropped. 

He's on the taxi squad. We're allowed a 7th guy that plays twice per week on the taxi squad. Pretty sure about twice per week. 

Childersb3: As I mentioned in a previous comment, each MLB club MUST assign four pitchers and three position players to their AFL affiliate, plus clubs have the option to assign an 8th player (a 4th position player) to the AFL team's taxi squad (who can play in games only twice per week). The particular positions each of the five MLB clubs must fill are decided in a conference call that has already been made. 

So far the Cubs have assigned four pitchers and two position players (an outfielder and a first-baseman) to the Mesa Solar Sox, but with only two catchers assigned to the Solar Sox so far (AFL teams carry three catchers), it's fairly obvious that the third Cubs position player was supposed to be a catcher (presumably Miguel Amaya), but because Amaya is out of action with a sprained ankle and might not be able to play in the AFL, the Cubs are waiting to name their third position player.

So if it isn't Amaya, it would likely be a different catcher, probably either Pablo Aliendo, Bryce Windham, or Jake Washer (all three are Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2022). And then if they so choose the Cubs could add a fourth position player to the Mesa Solar Sox taxi squad immediately or at a later date (it could even be Miguel Amaya if he isn't the Cubs third position player assigned to MSS, or it could be Pete Crow-Armstrong, or Jordan Nwogu, or Jake Slaughter, or whoever they want), or they don't have to assign anyone to the taxi squad.  

Sorry, I read where he was the Taxi addition b/c of the injury. But I wasn't aware the taxi spot was the 8th spot for each club. So, I guess the tweet I read was implying that the Cubs would add another player at some point. I'm now assuming that but it wasn't very clear. Thanks for cleaning that up AZ Phil. 

I was hoping for DHill over JYoung but we need LH INF

That's why McKinstry has had such a long look and probably why JYoung over DHill.

But JYoung was a better option for me at least over a 3rd catcher like SHicks, TPayne or ECastillo. Let PJ and Yan finish out the last weeks.

I think Hottovy done a terrific job under very difficult circumstances. He's a keeper in my book.
Darius Hill is a tough 40 man decision. If he is exposed he will be picked by someone.

I kinda have a feeling JYoung is up kinda more to give him a look. I highly doubt he will stay on the 40-man after the season. But I see it as a way to throw him a bone. If he does good, some other team will select him in the rule 5 draft. If he doesn't, he'll  probably go unpicked and then sign a minor league contract with the cubs if he wants to stay. But the cubs have much better options coming rather than a 27-yr old who's been in the minors for 6 years after being drafted out of college. 

I just felt mean after he got his first big league hit. Give the kid his moment! And a week or two of big league pay 'n perks!  He's worked hard for it!

Presuming Jared Young is placed on Outright Assignment Waivers after the season to clear a slot on the 40 and then presuming he is not claimed, he does NOT have the right to elect free-agency. So it isn't a question of him agreeing to sign a 2023 minor league contract if he is outrighted. If Young is outrighted post-2022, he would remain under club control through the 2023 World Series, presuming he isn't added back to the 40 in the meantime.  

Although he can't elect free-agency if he is outrighted, Young would be eligible for selection in the 2022 Rule 5 Draft, but he almost certainly wouldn't get selected because if he isn't claimed off waivers with no roster restrictions and three usable minor league options available for $50,000 in October or November, he isn't going to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft in December for $100,000 where he can't be optioned to the minors until 2024.

Thanks for the extra info. That makes lots of sense. 

pujols has 17 games left to hit 2 homers for 700...

kinda crazy pujols, molina, and wainwright will retire together as teammates in the year 2022.  even crazier that wainwright might actually return in 2023 with a rather decent contract if he decides to give it another year.

is every young cubs pitcher addicted to OTC stimulants or what?

i mean, it's probably just 500 pre-game Red Bulls or something, but these guys work jacked as hell.

i mean, damn...should the cubs even be in the market for a SP this offseason?

who would think the possible dead weight for SP in 2023 would be kyle hendricks?

stroman, hendricks, steele, thompson, wesneski/assad/killian.  there's options and backups.

Could also work with Miley or Smyly on returning as well, but I'd like for them to get Rodon. De Grom is beyond a pipedream so we'll discount that. Rodon would be worth it. Rodon, Stroman, Steele, Wesneski, Assad, Kilian, Keegan and Alzolay with Wicks, Brown, Herz, and Horton in the system. I believe Keegan and Alzolay can help the bullpen a lot. I'm higher on Assad than most others are, so some real bias there. 

Keegan, Alzolay and Cam Sanders in the pen? That's some juice there!!

cubs/rondon rumors are strong considering the season isn't over.  trea turner/cubs rumors are really strong.

ultimately, either would probably go play for PIT if they paid them enough.

alzolay throwing 95-97mph heat.  82-84mph slider.  91 mph cutter.

spotty control trying to nibble the plate, but good command.

strikes out 3 in a row on 19 pitches in his return.  should get another 1-2 innings.

...and it's gone sideways in his 2nd inning...sigh.

It's what happens!

With the Padres win tonight, your Cubs playoff tickets are officially worthless.


expectations crushed, world shattered...

schwindy DFA'd...missed that from yesterday.  it was a fun few months last year.  good luck.

also, david price (LAD) retiring after the end of the season.  he was/is a low-key mentor to a lot of guys (such as chris archer and marcus stroman).  he'll be missed by a slew of guys in the game.

Once he was Designated for Assignment, the Cubs (by rule) had no choice except to release Frank Schwindel.

That's because Schwindel cannot be traded after the MLB Trade Deadline has passed, and because he is on the Iowa 7-day IL (and apparently not healthy enough to play) he cannot be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, either. (An injured player can be placed onto Outright Assignment Waivers only during the period of time beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the reserve list filing deadline in November). 

So Schwindel goes onto Outright Release Waivers today (Sunday) and he will remain on Outright Release Waivers until 1 PM (Eastern) on Tuesday. During that period of time, any MLB club can claim him for $1 (and assume what remains of he 2020 salary), and if he is claimed off Outright Release Waivers, he would be under club control with his new club through the 2027 season  He wouldn't even be eligible for salary arbitration until post-2024.

Usually players are not claimed off Outright Release Waivers, because even though the waiver fee is only $1, the claiming club assumes 100% of what remains of the player's salary. But it the case of Schwindel. he is making just above the MLB minimum with only 2-1/2 weeks left in the season, so any club claiming him wouldn't have to invest much financially. The claiming club would have to place him on their MLB IL, however, because he is no longer on optional assignment and he cannot be optioned to the minors while he is injured or rehabbing from an injury.  

One other thing. Any player on an MLB 40-man roster can decline an Ouright Release Waiver claim regardless of MLB Service Time or not having the right to elect free agency after being outrighted, with no effect on his termination pay (he doesn't forfeit anything). So if Schwindel is claimed off Outright Release Waivers and he doesn't want to go to that particular club, he can just say "no" and become an unrestricted free agent, continue to get paid whatever he was making when he was released by the Cubs, and sign with whomever he wants, whenever he wants. He could even re-sign with the Cubs (minor league contract), 

assad has lost total feel of his release point and we're 5 batters in.

lasts 2 innings and gives up 4 runs...ugg.

There goes his rotation lock.