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.
crunch 1 hour 30 min ago (view)
umpire eric cooper has died...complications from knee surgery (blood clot)...52 years old
crunch 13 hours 2 min ago (view)
"MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."
espada's had 2 interviews. for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work. SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.
JustSayin' 14 hours 27 min ago (view)
That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter. MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent. They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players. In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted. For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col
Hagsag 14 hours 52 min ago (view)
Thanks Mr. Phil.
Arizona Phil 15 hours 54 min ago (view)
HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll.
crunch 16 hours 19 min ago (view)
The discussions on this matter have been quite varried. There seems to be a lot of pressure connected to this on minor league team owners who haven't upgraded their facilities/park in a while or who lag in quality compared to their competitors.
It seems like this would not only cause some teams to fold, but some radical redistribution of existing teams/cities into new minor league levels rather than just pruning some teams over others.
Hagsag 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.
crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic. wow.
altuve continues to build his astros legend.
bradsbeard 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen.
bradsbeard 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab.
JustSayin' 2 days 12 hours ago (view)
Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday? Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?) Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back?
Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.
Charlie 2 days 15 hours ago (view)
Who are you all rooting for in the World Series? I'm rooting for the Nats to face and defeat Houston, I think, but with very mild interest. Let them get that championship out of the way and then maybe go the way of the post-2016 Cubs.
bradsbeard 2 days 22 hours ago (view)
AZ Phil, what do you think the Cubs will do with Oscar de la Cruz if they don’t add him back to the 40 man? Can they try to re-sign him but wait until after the Rule 5 to make it official? Do you think they will try to keep him in the organization in some fashion?
bradsbeard 3 days 17 hours ago (view)
Angels also make sense as a destination for Kris Bryant.
azbobbop 4 days 10 hours ago (view)
I wonder if Maddon will take any of the coaches with him.