Cubs vs. Pirates: Alzolay vs. Williams (Game 85)

CHC (45-39): RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.08 ERA)
PIT (39-43): RHP Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.25 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

The Cubs leave behind a contentious Cincinnati series and give us Alzolay's second MLB start as a distraction. The rookie right-hander was inefficient in his first start, allowing four walks to go with four strikeouts in only 4.1 innings of work. Still, the only run scored on a solo homerun by Acuna. Walks were never a big issue for Alzolay in the minors. The Pirates are a touch below average offensively, but they are 13th in the majors in wRC+ vs right-handers. Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds, and Kevin Newman have been especially potent against righties. Cub killer Francisco Cervelli has been held to a .557 OPS against righties--but he's on the IL with a concussion.

Trevor Williams has been pretty decent this year, counteracting a slightly increased BABIP with a significantly decreased walk rate. He most recently lost to Houston, allowing four earned runs in 6.2 innings. Current Cubs have a .770 OPS against him in 94 at bats. Schwarber is 5-15 with two homeruns. Javy is 2-11 with zero strikeouts. Bryant is 2-7 with five walks.

There's rain coming to Pittsburgh this week, but it's not forecast to begin until tomorrow.

Comments

tyler skaggs has died.

rangers/angels cancelled.

he was 27 years old.

Holy shit. That’s awful.

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward / almora / caratini / russell / alzolay

16 pitches in...0 outs...4 PIT runs...

sigh

They say it’s a game of adjustments. Looks like the Pirates have a bit of game plan against Alzolay in his third MLB appearance. 

Pirates are spitting on offspeed and whacking the hell out of his fastballs. 

Seems likely he was tipping the curveball somehow. But the Pirates kept at it against the bullpen.

Javy. Wow

Hoping he declines participating in the home run derby and give the heel an additional break

damn...probably have to send alzolay down after this game just to get a fresh pen arm.

this is turrible.

2.2ip 10h 1bb 3k, 7r/er, 57 pitches

he leaves with 2 on...yow.

Alzolay has a little bit of a home/road split. 

b.brach gets his 1st hit (single) and 1st RBI of his career.

also, the cubs get within 3 runs.  neat-o.

Man, baseball is fickle. KB with a great at bat with the bases loaded, works a 3-1 count ... pops up to second. What could have been. 

Voted for Bell for the all star game. Little surprised neither of his two bombs off of Alzolay ended up in the river - they sure looked that way off the bat 

So Cubs best hitter pops up to second with bases loaded, two outs. Pirates starting pitcher in same situation laces a single to right. That uh, blows

this game is butt.

d.descalso pitching...3rd team he's had a pitching appearance (stl/arz/chc)

He’s just been playing out of position. Descalso is the bullpen help we needed.

Just kidding, can’t hit or pitch.

hey, he sucks at pitching too.

there's still the 8th inning to come for PIT to bat.  neat.

kimbrel is trying to keep this 10 run loss in tact.

...and he gives up a solo HR on his 4th pitch.

...and fraizer's 4th double of the game on his 5th pitch.

...and bell's 3rd homer of the game with his 16th pitch.

help.

send help.

Maybe the bat boy could soak up some pitches?

c.zambrano chicago dogs bio blurb

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D-b-hLKX4AcUtPk.jpg

...looking like a hispanic kenny powers...

The Cubs have reinstated RHSP Kyle Hendricks from the 10-day IL (he's supposed to start tonight), optioned RHSP Adbert Alzolay and RHRP Rowan Wick to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHRP Randy Rosario. 

Alzolay probably won't actually report to Iowa (at least not until after the All-Star break). He'll likely just stay with the Cubs while they are in Pittsburgh, then travel to Cleveland for the Futures Game on Sunday, and then maybe report to Iowa in about ten days. 

Recent comments

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  • bradsbeard 4 hours 51 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 12 hours 43 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 13 hours 24 min ago (view)

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

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 47 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 16 hours 31 min ago (view)

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

     

  • Hagsag 18 hours 37 min ago (view)

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

     

  • cubbies.4ever 1 day 5 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 16 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.