Cubs vs. Marlins: Lester vs Smith (Game 33)
CHC (19-13): LHP Jon Lester (2-1, 1.73 ERA)
MIA (10-24): LHP Caleb Smith (3-0, 2.00 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT
Jon Lester was stellar in his last outing, throwing 7 scoreless against the Mariners. He hasn't allowed more than 2 runs in a start this year and has a WHIP just below 1. He was on the IL for the series in Miami and will be facing the Marlins for the first time this season. Curtis Granderson has faced him in 51 ABs over the years and posted an .894 OPS. Martin Prado is 7-16 against him.
Caleb Smith is off to a heck of a start and went 7 while allowing a solo HR last time out against Cleveland. His walk rate is well below his career average in the early going. He's a bit of a flyball pitcher, and the wind will probably be blowing in from CF tonight. He missed the Cubs last time around and nobody has seen him more than 3 times. Bryant is 2-3 with a double and a homer and has heated up recently. Small sample size fun: The best offensive numbers on the Cubs against lefties this year are Baez (1.773 OPS), Schwarber (1.038!) and Heyward (.853). Contreras has struck out 10 times in 29 PAs against left-handed pitchers.
cubbies.4ever 8 hours 24 min ago (view)
Why no Dakota Meekes? Somebody is gonna take him.
Cubster 8 hours 54 min ago (view)
Per S Sharma: "Cubs have added C Miguel Amaya, RHP Tyson Miller, RHP Manuel Rodriguez and INF Zack Short to the 40-man roster, which now stands at 36."
...Manny Rodriguez must be a bit of a surprise.
erich081 15 hours 42 min ago (view)
Interesting, thanks AZ Phil.
Arizona Phil 16 hours 27 min ago (view)
First.Pitch.120: Without citing the source, I can say that other than Miguel Amaya, no Cub eligible for selection in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft is more-likely to be selected (if left unprotected) than P. J. Higgins, and if Higgins is selected, the Cubs will almost certainly not get him back.
First.Pitch.120 19 hours 20 min ago (view)
AZ PHIL: can you tell us a bit more about the "likely" ranking for PJ Higgins? I haven't had a chance to see him IRL. His stat sheet looks ok but not necessarily above some others. Is it a case of the "useful AAA catcher who can also do other things while not destroying you with the bat"?
JustSayin' 4 days 17 hours ago (view)
I hear you but welcome to the world of Theo. The team is always a step or two away from the World Series in his mind, whether that is true or not. Therefore, the thing to do on the margin is to trade top prospects or younger guys on the roster for that missing puzzle piece, not build for the future. I had a front-row seat for this as a Red Sox fan. If Pedro Martinez doesn't insist the Red Sox sign David Ortiz for table scraps and Chris Bryant isn't the no-brainer second pick in the draft, we'd all be wondering what happened to that Theo guy who was in the Red S
Cubster 4 days 18 hours ago (view)
Shogo Akiyama is a lefty bat, career BA at.301 w/ Seibu Lions. Recent OBPs: .419, .385, .398, .403 and .392. HR 20-15 in last 3 seasons Stolen bases, 12 in 2019, 18 in best season (2016). Defense supposedly plus-plus, 7-10 assists (10 in 2016). Clearly a leadoff hitter.
crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)
christian yelich committed internet homicide on yu darvish...
Charlie 5 days 14 hours ago (view)
Little in the offseason could make me happier than the Cubs finding ways to retain the good MLB players who came up with them while remaining competitive. This Javy extension talk makes me much happier as a fan than the Bryant and Contreras trade talk.
crunch 5 days 15 hours ago (view)
"Javy Baez. The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up already has begun negotiations on a potential long-term extension with the Cubs, according to sources."
also, some talk of being linked to shogo akiyama (CF, Japan, 32yo in April)
crunch 6 days 11 hours ago (view)
j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.
w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend). braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.
crunch 1 week 11 hours ago (view)
it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control. he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.
Arizona Phil 1 week 14 hours ago (view)
CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.
Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A.
crunch 1 week 14 hours ago (view)
i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.
he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.
Arizona Phil 1 week 15 hours ago (view)
I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection.
STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them.
EXAMPLES: See my lists above.
crunch 1 week 17 hours ago (view)
"There are no untouchables," Epstein said.
In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.