Cubs vs. Marlins: Hamels vs. Alcantara (Game 32)

CHC (19-12): LHP Cole Hamels (3-0, 3.19 ERA)
MIA (9-24): RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-3, 4.86 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs polished off their sweep of the Cardinals in dominating fashion and now take on the less imposing last-place Miami Marlins.

Cole Hamels starts off the four-game set. He's shown some frustration over his last two starts, in which his walk total ballooned from 3 to 12 on the season. Even with the recent command issues, he's kept the ground balls coming and the scoring mostly suppressed. He earned a win against the Marlins on April 17 in his best start of the season: 7IP, 8 strikeouts, 0 runs. A long time NL East-er, Martin Prado has a whopping 72 ABs against Hamels and an .819 OPS against.

Sandy Alcantara goes up against the veteran lefty. If he throws enough strikes, his fastball is fearsome. His strikeout to walk ratio has trended the wrong way over his last two starts. The Cubs scored 5 off of him in that Hamels win on April 17, but they struck out seven times in the process. Javy went 2-5 with three strikeouts.

The weather looks pretty spotty for all four days of this series. As of now, it looks like they should get tonight's game in.

Comments

I-Cubs just polished off their 7th straight. Between them, the C-Cubs & I-Cubs have won 14 in a row & neither team has lost this month.

Carl Jr recalled from Iowa and Maples sent down to the I-Cubs. Fingers crossed Edwards keeps firing quality strikes like he’s shown since his demotion. 

Joe cannot put Carl in high leverage moments. And, his terrible in the 8th inning for his career. Looks at the innings splits.

Joe thinks he's a closer. That's crazy. Too many walks and too much pressure for him. 6th guy, maybe 7th. ONLY!!

Cubs will need to make another roster move when Mike Montgomery is reinstated from the IL (presumably) on Wednesday or Thursday.

Unless a pitcher goes on the IL, they could option Mark Zagunis to Iowa and go wiith a nine-man pen (and three-man bench) for a while, option Kyle Ryan or Carl Edwards Jr to Iowa (not likely at this time), DFA Allen Webster (except he's out of options and he will very likely get claimed off waivers if he isn't traded, although he does - NOT - have the right to elect free-agency if he were to somehow get through waivers and get outrighted), or trade Tyler Chatwood (if there are any takers).

Strop, Cishek, and Kintzler aren't going anywhere, and Brad Brach has automatic post-2018 Article XX-B "no trade" rights through June 15th so he can't be traded without his consent, although he could be released. (Brach is also out of minor league options, plus he has Article XIX-A rights so he cannot be outrighted to the minors without his consent). And if he were to waive his "no trade" right, Brach can only be traded for cash and/or player contracts with a maximium aggregate value of $50,000. 

And as things stand right now there does not appear to be a spot for Xavier Cedeno in the Cubs pen once he finishes his Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab stint (the rehab cannot run past 5/17), so he could be traded or released (unlike Brach, Cedeno does not have post-2018 Article XX-B rights so he cannot refuse a trade, but he is out of minor league options, plus he does have Article XIX-A rights so he cannot be outrighted to the minors without his consent). 

Victor Caratini (left hand surgery) begins Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment at South Bend tonight. He had the hand surgery just three weeks ago. 

zobrist(RF)/bryant/rizzo/baez/contreras/heyward(CF)/bote(2nd)/schwarber/ham

playing MIA is still awesome.  what a joke of a team.

rizzo moves into #9 on the cubs all-time HR list, passing former MVP hank sauer.

Had to look it up, wow, didn't realize Aramis Ramirez was on that list.

he played some average as hell 3rd, but he had a great arm and can't complain about much he did with the bat (except for 2010 where he was playing hurt at the plate and in the field).

if he had more going for him with the glove than average-at-best with a few bad years sprinkled in he'd probably have some HOF talk.

Ramirez reminds me in retrospect of Adrian Beltre* in terms of producing at a level not high enough to garner a lot of attention but doing it seemingly forever and with great consistency. He gave the Cubs 7 years, 6 of which were solidly above average. He was also one of my favorite Cubs during that time.

*Obviously his D paled in comparison.

cj returns without any shred of his janky-ass k.jensen mound impersonation.

fastball around 93-95mph with movement...business as usual.

he did tempt fate trying to straighten out a few counts by throwing a few meatballs right down the center in a couple of ABs.  that might not play so well vs a team that's not junior college level tallent like this crap MIA team.

1ip 0h 0bb 0k, weak grounder, shallow popup, shallow popup

"throwing a few meatballs"

I don't recall seeing many balls hit hard off of Edwards. His issue has been wildness associated with stage fright.

Well, there was that breaking ball that Harper launched . . .

wtf strop

DUDE...STOP

tie game, 0 outs...3 walks so far...walked in a run to tie the game...nice.

also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqLxzOWW_M8

wtf ryan

wtf this half inning

And KB homers of course - that Ryan brain cramp paying dividends for the fish

the play was not only right in front of him, he was looking to home before he decided to brainfart and throw it to 1st.  it wasn't even a split second decision play.  if lester was on the mound he could have rolled the ball to home plate and still got an out.

cubs lose.  they earned it.

9th inning was full on cubbery.  Those last two at bats by Javy and Willson just ugly.  Sure Willson got screwed on the first pitch but he let it dictate the rest of the AB.  Javy versus Romo slider was a bad match up. 

yeah, that was vintage stuff...that bad stuff...

That was definitely a cognitive issue for Ryan by which I mean either neurons misfiring or some sort of temporary blindness/agnosia. I felt bad for him in that moment.

That said, the Cubs grounded into 4 DP (could have been 5) and dropped an easy 3rd out at 2nd to lose a game in which they drew 10 BBs and hit 2 HRs. Plenty of WTF to go around.

Oh well, if this is payback for the win against the Cards in the Darvish game I’ll take it. 

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  • bradsbeard 3 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Best I can think is that maybe he was going to be squeezed out of a starting role next year with 2019 draftees and other lower level pitching pushing up into A ball. Doesn't seem like a great reason, but the pitching in the system is getting more crowded each year.

     

  • crunch 11 hours 42 min ago (view)

    i truly wonder why f.carrera wasn't more of a priority.

    he throws straight up junk, but he's got great control and command over his pitchers.  he's young enough that he could find some more velocity, too.

    i mean, this is a management team that decided to trade for dan haren and kyle hendricks.  they don't have an aversion to slow-tossing starters.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 23 min ago (view)

    Has anyone else noticed James Norwood's picture on the Cubs top 30 prospects page is actually Brandon Kintzler?

     

  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 45 min ago (view)

    It's always interesting to see how many players each MLB club protects on its AAA affiliate's 38-man reserve list on 11/20.

    I'm not saying it absolutely and necessarily proves what a club thinks of its own prospects, but there are 38 slots available on a AAA reserve list, and if you leave 15 slots open, I think that does say something, especially when you don't lose anybody in either the MLB Phase or in the AAA Phase. (I'm looking at you, Seattle Mariners!) 

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 30 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Instructs starts next month. The pitching lab operates year round, so guys are always coming & going. 

     

  • Hagsag 17 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Phil, when does the Instructional program begin? Are there pitchers in the pitching lab now?

     

  • cubbies.4ever 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013.  The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.

    Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.

    And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Vimael Machin can play anywhere in the infield & outfield, but he also went through the catcher conversion program at post-2015 Instructs so he can even catch in a pinch, too. He could be a very useful 26th man.

    Machin is bi-lingual (he is from Puerto Rico and went to college at Old Dominion), and was projected by the Cubs as a future coach or manager. He's a savvy & astute baseball guy. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Every year the Cubs convert two or three position players to pitcher (it was Galazin, Hughes, and Zardon in 2019), so it's very possible that Suiter will be given a chance to pitch. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Suiter, who pitched in HS and briefly in college and who doesn't appear to be much of a hitter, seems to me to be a good pitcher conversion candidate.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    BTW, three of the four players selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (Stewart, Suiter, and Masters) will be minor league free-agents post-2020, and the fourth one (Vance Vizcaino) is a second-contract player (he was previously released by KC) so he could be a post-2020 minor league free-agent, too (TBD).

    Incidentally, David Masters was selected by the Cubs after signing a minor league successor contract with the Nationals. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    So LHSP Brailyn Marquez, INF Christopher Morel, RHSP Cory Abbott, SS Aramis Ademan, RHSP Erich Uelmen, RHSP Keegan Thompson, and LHSP Brendon Little stand-out among the Cubs 2020 first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles, and RHRP Oscar de la Cruz, LHSP Luis Lugo, and LHRP Jordan Minch are probably the ones to watch  among the Cubs post-2020 free-agent eligibles.    

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    For those of you who like to plan ahead, AS THINGS STAND NOW here is how the Rule 5 Draft and minor league free-agency shape up for the Cubs post-2020: 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    You say that in jest, but just from the 2016 draft, which did not feature a first or second round pick, the Cubs drafted 4 players who were added to 40 man rosters this winter (Hatch, Miller, Rucker, Short) with Mekkes, Giambrone, and several others being potential mid-season additions.