Archive - 2020 - story

August 7th

Cubs @ Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 14-16)

An early season hot streak brings the 2020 Cubs to a division-leading 10-3 record as they travel to St. Louis for the first time. The Cards (2-3), meanwhile, will be playing only their 6th game of the season following a significant COVID outbreak and a 8-day layoff. The risk of contagion remains the only thing more concerning than the Cubs' bullpen.

Game 14
Friday, August 7, 7:15pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 0.82 ERA)
STL: RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-1, 6.75 ERA)

Lester has been both good and fortunate so far. The .091 BABIP certainly helps.

August 6th

Cubs 2020 Club Player Pool

8/6 UPDATE: 

The Cubs have signed veteran RHRP Kelvin Herrera to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to the Cubs MLB Club Player Pool and the MLB Practice Squad. 

Herrera was released by the White Sox last Sunday. 

So the Cubs 60-man MLB Club Player Pool is now full. 

Also, to get down to the 28-man MLB Active List roster limit effective as of the 15th day of the 2020 MLB regular season (today 8/6), the Cubs have optioned LHP Rex Brothers and LHP Justin Steele to their South Bend Alternate Training Site.  

Steele was up for only four days and did not pitch in a game, and Brothers had not pitched in a game in over a week.

Some roster rules changes were made and approved by MLB owners last night and are effective today:

1. The 28-man MLB Active List roster limit will remain in effect beginning today (Thursday 8/6) and extending through the post-season. There will NOT be a further cut to 26 on the 29th day of the MLB regular season as was originally planned.   

2. Clubs will be able to add a 29th player for doubleheaders. (The "extra man" rule for doubleheaderrs was only supposed to go into effect once rosters were cut to 26 on 8/20). 

3. The MLB Taxi Squad roster limit has been expanded from three to five. 

August 3rd

Cubs vs. / @ Royals: Series Thread (Games 10-13)

How 'bout this weekend? The Cubs swept the Pirates at home, including a walk-off 11th inning victory on Sunday (and some socially distanced air-fives), we saw the new extra-inning rule, and Rob Manfred warned that the season might already be over. With Manfred now anticipating the season being played to completion--and his warning described as a "bluff" by Sports Illustrated--I guess we can proceed with another series thread.

The Cubs (7-2) greet the Royals (3-7) at Wrigley for two games before heading off to Kansas City for another two. Let's call it a 4-game series? Can the starting rotation continue to lead the way? Cubs pitchers will need to dodge blasts from old friend Jorge Soler.

July 30th

2020 Cubs MLB First-Year Player Draft Ticker-Tracker

7/31 UPDATE 


Bradlee Beesley, OF 
R/R, 5'10 180, Age 22
Cal Poly 
AREA SCOUT: Tom Myers 
COMMENT: Speedy glove-first CF with enough arm to play RF... probably projects as a "4th OF" at the pro level...  hit 286/352/380 with 4 HR & 91 RBI, 45 doubles, and  21 SB (eight CS) in 180 college games over the course of four seasons at Cal Poly... 

Matt Burch, INF 
L/R, 5'7 170, Age 22
Old Dominion U. 
AREA SCOUT: Billy Swoope  
COMMENT: Plays 2B-3B but played mostly 2B in 2019-20...  hit 282/351/350 with 2 HR & 32 RBI, 13 doubles, and 25/47 BB/K in 74 NCAA D-1 games (309 PA) over the course of three seasons..  graduated from Warren Township HS in Gurnee, IL... spent freshman season at U. of Arkansas and then transferred to Wabash Valley JC (hit 384/480/557 in 56 games) before landing at ODU...
Angel Gonzalez-Martinez, RHP/OF 
R/R, 6'1 168, Age 17 
Emilio R. Delgado HS (Corozal, PR) 
AREA SCOUT: Edwards Guzman 
COMMENT: Two-way player in HS but projects as a pitcher (only) in pro ball... features a 94 MPH FB and a CH... had signed an NLI with Northwest Florida College (JC) before changing his mind and signing with the Cubs...

Scott Kobos, LHP 
L/L, 6'2 200, Age 22 
Coastal Carolina 
AREA SCOUT: Tom Clark 
COMMENT: Earned a spot in the Chanticleers 2020 starting rotation after a strong showing in fall ball and went 1-3 with a 5.59 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in five games (four GS) before the season was canceled... went 3-2 with a 6.61 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over the course of three seasons at CCU... was a two-way player (LF-LHP) prior to 2018... spent freshman year redshirting at UNC - Asheville... then transferred to St. John's River State College (JC) where he was the Vikings' Friday starter, going  6-3 with a 3.01 ERA, 23/68 BB/K, and 61 hits allowed in 71.2 IP for SJRSC in 2017... was selected by Cleveland Indians in 38th round of 2017 draft but did not sign... underwent elbow UCL transplant (TJS) in 2018...  

Graham Lawson, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 229, Age 24 
U. of South Carolina 
AREA SCOUT: Tom Clark 
COMMENT: Bullpen piece but not a closer... went 3-2 with a 5.27 ERA, three saves, 26/53 BB/K, and .250 OppBA (nine HR allowed) in 41 career games (56.1 IP) for Gamecocks... was selected by Washington Nationals in 12th round of 2018 draft but did not sign... missed 2019 season after undergoing UCL transplant (TJS)... spent freshman year at Spartanburg Methodist College before transferring to South Carolina... was named to SEC Academic Honor Roll in both 2018 and 2019... 

Ben Leeper, RHP 
R/R, 6'0 194, Age 23 
Oklahoma State 
AREA SCOUT: Ty Nichols 
COMMENT: Cowboys closer... went 4-4 with a 4.31 ERA and seven saves, 23/43 BB/K, and 24 hits (three HR) allowed in 29 games (31.1 IP) in 2019... was off to a strong start in 2020 (14 K in just 7.1 IP) before season was canceled...  missed 2017 season after undergoing his second elbow UCL transplant (TJS).. . also underwent TJS in 2015... went 20-5 with a 1.15  ERA and was an honorable mention Perfect Game All-American in both his sophomore and junior years in HS... 

Scott McKeon, INF 
R/R, 6'0 185, Age 22 
Coastal Carolina  
AREA SCOUT: Tom Clark 
COMMENT: Hit 341/401/488 with 4 HR & 38 RBI, 18 doubles, five triples, and 22/55 BB/K in 62 games (284 PA) for Chanticleers in 2019..  After hitting just six HR in 133 college games through 2019 season, he clubbed four HR in 16 games in 2020 prior to season being canceled...  spent two seasons at Brunswick CC prior to tranferring to Coastal Carolina... was selected first-team NJCAA Division II All-American at BCC in 2018... has the defensive skills necessary to play SS but probably projects more as a utility infielder at pro level... was selected in 21st round of 2019 draft by Detroit Tigers but did not sign... 

Matt Mervis, 1B-3B/RHP 
L/R, 6'4 225, Age 22 
AREA SCOUT: Billy Swoope 
COMMENT: Two-way player... team captain... hit .278/380/456 with 9 HR & 46 RBI, 14 doubles, 31/56 BB/K and 13 HBP in 119 games (301 PA) as a position player and went 6-2 with a 5.49 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, .262 OppBA (four HR allowed), and 34/52 BB/K in 50 games (59.0 IP) as a pitcher in four seasons at Duke... was rated the #19 college senior by Perfect Game going into the 2020 college baseball season... led team in hits & HR and hit safely in all games played in 2020 prior to the season being canceled... selected in 39th round of 2016 draft by Washington Nationals out of Georgetown Prep but did not sign...  

Sheldon Reed, RHP/OF 
L/R, 6'3 205, Age 22 
AREA SCOUT: Keith Lockhart
COMMENT: Bullpen arm but not a closer... hit 448/508/697 with 11 HR & 47 RBI, six doubles, and 22/40 BB/K in 51 games as an OF at Spartanburg Methodist College in 2016-17... he was converted to a RHP in 2018 after transferring to Clemson... 6.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP, with six hits allowed and 6/8 BB/K in just 6.0 IP for Tigers 2019-20...  

Bailey Reid, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 205, Age 21 
Westmont College 
AREA SCOUT: Tom Myers 
COMMENT: Warriors closer... hard to hit but has difficulty throwing strikes... 5.29 ERA with did not allow an earned run and held opponents to an .073 OppBA in 2019... went 3-1 with 13 saves, 45/78 BB/K, 9 HBP, 12 WP, and .103 OppBA (no HR allowed) in 41 games (47.2 IP) over the course of four seasons at Westmont...  

Sam Thoresen, RHP 
R/R, 6'3 210, Age 21 
U. of Minnesota 
AREA SCOUT: John Pedrotty 
COMMENT: A project... hard to hit but has much difficulty throwing strikes (85 BB in 91 IP in three years at Minnesota, and more walks than IP in two summers spent pitching in collegiate wood bat leagues)... went 6-6 with a 5.74 ERA, 85/118 BB/K, 16 HBP, nine WP, and a .196 OppBA (four HR allowed) in 34 games (19 GS) and 91 IP for Golden Gophers 2018-20... pitched in summer collegiate wood bat leagues in both 2018 and 2019... went 1-3 with a 5.66 ERA, 12 hits allowed, and 19/28 BB/K in 20.2 IP and five games (4 GS) for Hyannis Harbor (Cape Cod League) in 2019, and 2-2 with a 5.20 ERA, 33/22 BB/K, and 19 hits allowed in nine games (5 GS) and 27.2 IP for Waterloo (Norhwoods League) in 2018... was a 2017 Rawlings Honorable Mention All-American as a senior at Minnetonka HS...  

Jacob Wetzel, OF 
L/L, 5'11 215, Age 20 
Frederick CC 
AREA SCOUT: Billy Swoope 
COMMENT: Speedy CF and lead-off hitter... hit a robust 367/509/638, with 6 HR & 62 RBI, 13 doubles and 13 triples, 51/37 BB/K, and 16 SB (3 CS) in 50 games (combined) in 2019-20 and set numerous offensive records for the Cougars over the course of two seasons... transferred to FCC from Old Dominion after freshman year...   




DAY ONE (6/10)

1st ROUND (16) 
Ed Howard IV, SS  
R/R, 6'2 185, Age 18 
Mt. Carmel HS - Chicago, IL 
COLLEGE COMMIT: U. of Oklahoma 
AREA SCOUT: John Pedrotty 
COMMENT: The top high school shortstop prospect in the 2020 draft... outstanding defensive SS... has plus range, soft hands, a quick release, and a strong arm... also has plus bat-speed and makes hard-contact so projects to have above-average power (for a shortstop) in pro ball... swing & miss is a problem, however... has decent speed (average for a SS) but is an outstanding base-runner... played in the Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field in 2019... also played for the Chicago Jackie Robinson West team that went to the Little League World Series representing the Great Lakes region in 2014... grew up on the south side of Chicago and he said in an interview prior to the Under Armour game that he is a White Sox fan... was given the nickname "Silk" by mentor Barry Larkin (because he is so smooth in the field)... 
BONUS SLOT VALUE: $3,745,500


DAY TWO (6/11): 

2nd ROUND (51): 
Burl Carraway, LHP 
L/L, 6'0 173, Age 21 
Dallas Baptist University  
AREA SCOUT: Todd George 
COMMENT: Patriots closer... also pitched for Team USA in 2019... rated by Baseball America as the top pure relief prospect in the 2020 draft... 2019 first-team All-MVC... went 4-2 with six saves and a 2.81 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, .195 OppBA (one HR allowed), 22/72 BB/K in 41.2 IP (28 games) for DBU in 2019... features a 93-96 MPH FB (T-98) and a 76-77 MPH knee-buckling CV... both pitches have a high spin-rate... struck out over 50% of LH hitters he faced in 2019... has a violent max-effort crossfire delivery with an inconsistent release point... throwing strikes has been a problem throughout his HS and college career... close to being MLB ready if he can throw strikes more-consistently...   
BONUS SLOT VALUE: $1,436,900

3rd ROUND (88):  
Jordan Nwogu, OF 
R/R, 6'3 235, Age 21
U. of Michigan 
AREA SCOUT: Jacob Williams  
COMMENT: 1st team All-Big Ten as a DH in 2019... hit 335/442/577 with 18 HR & 72 RBI, 21 doubles, five triples, 56/80 BB/K and 16 HBP, and 27 SB (five CS) in 105 games (430 PA) for Wolverines 2018-20... reached base in 30 consecutive games at one point during 2019 season when he led Michigan to a berth in the College World Series... was named to All-Big Ten Freshman Team in 2018... played CF and batted lead-off for Wolverines in 15 games in 2020 before season was canceled... he is an aggressive base-runner with plus speed and big-time HR power but he has a below-average arm and has difficulty reading and tracking fly balls so he projects (at best) as a LF or maybe even a DH in pro ball... crushes fastballs with plus bat-speed and a high exit-velocity but struggles with breaking balls and off-speed pitches...  played both baseball and football (OLB/DE) at Pioneer HS in Ann Arbor and he received football scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan and Kent State but he opted to stay home and play baseball (as a walk-on) at UM... is a member of the National Honor Society and was named an Academic All-Big Ten (computer science) in 2019...   

4th ROUND (117): 
Luke Little, LHP 
L/L, 6'8 225, Age 19   
San Jacinto College - North 
AREA SCOUT: Trey Forkerway 
COMMENT: Gators closer... supposedly threw a 105 MPH FB in a bullpen session shown on Twitter but velo was not independently confirmed by scouts... otherwise FB sits 96-97 (T-100-101)... also features a low 80's SL and an upper 70's CV and a CH that is a work-in-progress... walked more batters than innings pitched in 2019 (36 walks in 35.1 IP) but he also struck out 69 (that's 17.6 K per 9) with a .159 OppBA (one HR allowed) and a 2.04 ERA... strike-throwing showed improvement in 2020 (3/17 BB./K in 9.0 IP) prior to season being canceled... missed a month with a back injury in January... lost 30 pounds (he weighed 250+) after graduating from HS... will transfer to U. of South Carolina if he does not sign with Cubs... 

5th ROUND (147): 
Koen Moreno, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 170, Age 18 
Panther Creek HS - Cary, NC 
COLLEGE COMMIT: East Carolina  
AREA SCOUT: Billy Swoope 
COMMENT: Rated the #1 high school pitching prospect in North Carolina by Baseball America... Went 5-3 with a 1.62 ERA, .153 OppBA (one HR allowed), and 17/80 BB/K in 47.2 IP for the Catamounts in 2019... was on the varsity baseball squad all four years at PCHS... a multi-sport athlete, he also played basketball and ran track... features an 87-93 MPH FB (T-94), a swing & miss CH, and a promising but inconsistent mid-70's CV...   



July 26th

Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 4-7)

The Cubs head out for their first road trip with a series win against the Brewers under their belt. Next up on their divisional to-do list are the Cincinnati Reds, last year's fourth place team but an opponent with the potential to jump up and surprise in an unusual season. This four-game series constitutes 6.67% of the whole season; there's some substantive work to do in Cincinnati.