Cubs vs. White Sox: Hamels vs. Nova (Game 72)
CHC (39-32): LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.98 ERA)
CHW 3(34-36): RHP Ivan Nova (3-5, 6.28 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT
The Cubs return home to take on their cross-city rivals. They remain 0.5 games behind Milwaukee with the Cards lagging an additional two games behind the Cubs. Cole Hamels made his third start without an earned run, going seven innings with 9 strikeouts in Colorado last time out. Few White Sox have seen much of him. Jon Jay and his 13 at-bats are on the IL. Jose Abreu is 4-9 with a homerun off of him. Hamels has been a tremendous groundball pitcher this year, and the White Sox have the second highest GB% behind the Marlins--that may provide some incentive for Maddon to start his best defensive infield. The general impatience of the Sox lineup should play to Hamels' favor, although he seems to have harnessed his command of late.
The White Sox are hovering around .500 as they bring along some of their younger players. Key players Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito have taken big steps forward, and Tim Anderson is riding an early season hot streak to what look like breakout numbers. Former Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez has looked overmatched at times, but his power has shown up and he does have a 127 wRC+ since returning from the IL on May 20. Ivan Nova gets the start. He's had a rough 2019 on the mound, getting generally knocked around. He allowed four earned runs in 5.1 innings against the Yankees in his last start. Current Cubs are 41-139 against him. Rizzo, Contreras, Gonzalez, Baez, and Heyward have all slugged over .500 against him. The Cubs have posted a team wRC+ of 85 since the beginning of June. Javy Baez hasn't walked since May 31 and he's batting only .226 in June.
jdrnym 1 hour 43 min ago (view)
All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 9 min ago (view)
jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March.
crunch 8 hours 32 min ago (view)
the toles update is worse than his troubled past. toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years. he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.
hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.
Dolorous Jon Lester 11 hours 22 min ago (view)
Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.
jdrnym 11 hours 25 min ago (view)
Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.
Dolorous Jon Lester 13 hours 41 min ago (view)
Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.
jdrnym 13 hours 49 min ago (view)
Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?
And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.
crunch 14 hours 13 min ago (view)
though he went to the hospital for treatment he was never admitted, so he's yet another person who got dragged hard by Covid, but who's case isn't showing up in the hospital admission, ICU bed, or death numbers most of us are looking at.
there's a whole slew of people who have had to shut down their lives for 2-4-6-etc weeks to get over this that are falling outside of the numbers we're tracking most closely.
Cubster 14 hours 42 min ago (view)
"In yet another reminder of how insidious this particular disease can be, Hottovy says he had acted quite cautiously in public before coming down with it. Fortunately, he was able to self-isolate and avoid transmitting it to his family."
crunch 15 hours 53 min ago (view)
it'll be interesting to see how things go down when people have to start playing games in AZ. they're damn close to being "early NYC level" screwed with a lack of planning and action.
with the early plan of playing games in AZ/FL, they could have been huge economic winners with 15+ teams playing all their games in AZ (and spring training 2.0). now it's looking like some teams may not even want to fly into AZ for a few dozen "away" games.
crunch 16 hours 9 min ago (view)
cubs pitching coach tommy hottovy was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier this spring, but he is currently assumed fully recovered.
he had a 100+ degree temperature for 6 days, lost 18 pounds, and it took 30 days for him to test negative.
he's 38 years old, btw.
Hagsag 23 hours 8 min ago (view)
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
at least the cubs got elston back for pretty much nothing. also, ha.
Rob Richardson 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
How many coachs, managers, and other "tier 1" individuals around the league are in higher risk groups?
Rob Richardson 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Well said Crunch.