Cubs vs. White Sox: Lester vs. Giolito

CHC (39-33): LHP Jon Lester (5-5, 4.08 ERA)
CHW (35-36): RHP Lucas Giolito (10-1, 2.22 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Having squandered the opportunity to join the league-wide pile-on against Ivan Nova last night, the Cubs try to dodge the two-game sweep at the hands of the Sox' best pitcher. Lester heads things up on the run-prevention side. He allowed six earned runs while suffering a loss against the Dodgers last time out. Going back to May 18 he has an ERA of 7.59. Jose Abreu is 6-15 with a homerun off of him.

Lucas Giolito is finally backing up the prospect hype. He leads the AL in ERA and is tied with the Twins' Odorizzi in wins. He most recently defeated the Yankees, contributing six innings and allowing one earned run on four hits and four walks. Current Cubs have seen very little of him. They are 6-41 as a group with eight walks. Javy is 2-6 with the only dinger in the bunch. Schwarber is 1-3 with with 3 walks.

Paging the front desk: The Cubs' offense is overdue for their wake-up call.

Comments

Oh well, better Strop than Q (sigh)...

Did Steve Stone always babble so incessantly?

yes...also, he's the world's best pitching coach who has known how to "fix" every pitching problem with at least 1000 pitchers he's seen while calling games.

him and hawk were just toxic, bitter, and he's at least a bit less of all that since hawk left.

he's a true chicago baseball institution, though.  he's earned it.

The Brewers and Cards have basically regressed in lock step with the Cubs lately, but not gaining a couple games over the last 10 or so feels like a huge missed opportunity. This has been a really tired stretch.

I don't quite know if Lester is just completely done, or is he "going through a bad stretch"?

To actually count on him as a "stopper" seems ubsurd. It was Hendricks. But not now.

There have been a couple off-season moves that did not aid the team at all - namely the subtraction of LaStella, and addition of Descalso.

The Cole signing was the best.

And, while not this year, the trade for Q will go down as one of the worst in Cubs history, unfortunately.

Hamels or Hendricks seem likely to be the defacto stoppers, but the Cubs failed to give Cole more than one run worth of support.

Lester's been hurt by BABIP and HR/9, both of which can swing hard in small samples. But he runs that fine line between weak contact and getting mashed even when he's doing well. I think he's probably done being an ace, but not done contributing.

Re. Q: Cubs got 1.3 fWAR from Chapman in 2016 and gave up Torres. It seems no more Q's fault they haven't won a world series with him than it was Chapman's fault they won it with him. If the Cubs won the series with Q this year, would you change that evaluation, or do you think Eloy will be that much better than Gleyber?

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / contreras / heyward / bote(2nd) / lester / almora

1st pitch leadoff homer...

lester...what's going on?

contreras grand slam!

3rd of his cubs career.

...and a solo HR.  all 5 RBIs belong to him after 3 innings.

...and a flawless throw to nail t.anderson trying to steal 3rd.

is there anyone in baseball who loves to shed their helmet while running as much as almora?

He loves it almost as much as Javy loves insisting on replays.

ha.

Ozzie Albies routinely loses his helmet while running the bases - his helmet even has a parody twitter account. 

lester goes 5.2ip and gives up 3 runs.  it wasn't pretty, but it wasn't ugly.

cubs win!

MIL lost, so the cubs are in 1st by a half game.

The Adbert Alzolay era begins tomorrow. Collins DFAd

The thing about Tim Collins is that because he has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), he must give his consent each time he is optioned or outrighted to the minors, and while he obviously did give his consent when he was optioned to the minors after being signed in March and then again in April and again in May after brief call-ups to MLB, he is no longer willing to do it, and so to get him off the 25-man roster, the Cubs have no choice but to release him (if he isn't traded or claimed off waivers sometime in the next seven days). 

The Cubs could give Alzolay three starts (6/20 vs NYM, 6/25 vs ATL, and 6/30 at CIN), then option him to the minors on 7/1 when (presumably) Craig Kimbrel and Tony Barnette are brought up, then leave Alzolay at Iowa for 14 days through the All-Star Break, and recall him to start the game on 7/15 or 7/16 vs CIN (if Hendricks isn't ready to come off the IL after the ASB). 

Chatwood announced as starter for tonight, but since Alzolay was scheduled to go for Iowa today I don't think it's a fluke he was called up.  He could piggyback nicely after Chatwood throws 96 pitches in 4 innings with 9 Ks and 5 walks.

I would absolutely accept that scenario, including the line for Chatwood (provide there's no homerun mixed in there).

kinda neat...

"Per ESPN.com's Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball's executive council has granted the Rays permission to explore a plan that would allow them to start the season playing home games in Tampa Bay and finish their home schedule in Montreal. "

for a team like TB that likes to under-pay their people, talent having to have 2 residences (or just a place to crash) is a bit of a kick in the teeth, though.  since it's an AL market, most everyone who has to play them will already have their papers for travel into canada (because TOR)...so that's not too disruptive.

Recent comments

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  • JustSayin' 1 hour 19 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have 15-20 extra pitchers in their minor league system due to unbalanced drafting over the last few years.  I am ready to see them err on the side of giving the internal guys too many chances as compared to signing AAA players who had short stints in the big leagues which didn't go too well.  We don't know it the Cubs organization is just that bad at developing pitching, or has too many guys trying to prove themselves in a fixed number of minor league innings.  Bad scouting/development or self-inflicted bottleneck?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Dan Winkler and Jharel Cotton wasn't enough for you? Tough crowd.

     

  • Hagsag 19 hours 22 min ago (view)

    I think we all are ready for some action.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 56 min ago (view)

    winter meetings start tomorrow...guys got into town friday/today.

    the cubs are supposedly looking to tap the trade market for their major moves.  this is the place where it gets done or seeds get planted.

    also, the modern day HOF class will be announced.  marvin miller will most likely get in.  lou whitaker and ted simmons should have some heat, too.

     

  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    semi-interesting winter league note...

    trey mcnutt (yes, that guy) is having a hell of a winter league in mexico (one of the less talented winter leagues) so far as a closer.  15.2ip 8h 4bb 24k, 0.57 era.

    giants signed him to a minor league deal a couple weeks ago.  he never went anywhere.  he's been consistently playing ball in the minors and indie league ball since he was last a noteworthy player.  last season he played in the OAK minor league system.  30 years old now...

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal. Wasn't his 2020 club only supposed to be on the hook for league minimum?

     

  • crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    when he got to the mets he suddenly learned how to throw with control (small sample size etc).  last year was not a fun bullpen year...

     

  • crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:

    https://twitter.com/mlbastian/status/1202973097223237632