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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  • Charlie 58 min 36 sec ago (view)

    Fair pay for minor leaguers and international free agents would soften the blow of nickel and diming the MLB payroll for sure. It won't happen until the players union represents minor league interests, of course, unless an outside law suit forces the minimum wage issue.

     

  • crunch 18 hours 35 min ago (view)

    without fail, at the end of every minor league spring training period (which is extremely poorly paid, not at all for the most part) there comes some retirements that seem to be a bit "early" in their development when players slog through weeks of low/no pay only to find out they're being assigned to a low level that barely pays them.  it's a real morale crasher after going through weeks of poverty that breaks some guys.  that's no way to run things...

     

  • JustSayin' 19 hours 54 min ago (view)

    So true.  The minors these days is an odd mix of the few who get big bonuses with Hispanic guys for whom $1,200/month might be good money and college guys being partly subsidized by middle or upper-middle class families.  You don't hear much about minor league economics when the discussion turns to lower participation by black players but I believe it's a big factor.  If you need to use sports to get ahead, would you rather have your "internship" involve a free college education, or $6,000 a year?  

     

  • crunch 20 hours 25 min ago (view)

    there are more than a few minor league players that have to "retire" from minor league ball in order to start making real money in the real world for their real lives while those from more wealthy families get to follow their dreams a bit longer.

    that's a real shame.

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Theo got a good question at the conference on minor league salaries and went on record that they are unfair.  That was followed by "keep your ear to the ground" or some similar cliche.  I find this interesting.  Fan dissatisfaction this offseason is maily focused on ownership being cheap but you have to admit there is a (slim?) chance that the baseball moves we want to see are not currently possible.  It's hard to say the same about MiLB salaries.  Those don't even factor in the luxury tax.  You could raise every player in the system to middle class for the cos

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    As part of the 2019-2020 Cubs offseason dumpster diving extravaganza, I wonder if they will kick the tires on Zack Cozart. Can handle 2B SS 3B and isn't far removed from being a great defender and at least decent hitter. 2 years of injury is a concern, but he'd receive only ML minimum.

     

  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    WAS is now floating c.kieboom as a 3rd base option...along with asdrubal cabrera backing him up there.

    the bryant service issue delay may end up lessening his trade value as teams (especially his #1 rumored suitor, WAS) prepare their teams in the offseason.

    it's unfortunate that the cubs major offseason team building is based on waiting to find out how much getting rid of bryant is worth because of service time concerns.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Another possible unintended consequence of the new restriction on September call-ups is that contending clubs will send MLB-ready pitchers and position-players who in previous seasons would have been called-up to MLB in September to the Arizona Fall League, just to keep them in game shape in case the pitcher or position player is needed as an injury replacement in September or in the post-season.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    One thing about Josh Phegley is that not only is he out of minor league options but he also has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), so he can't even be outrighted to the minors without his consent if he were to be added to the 40.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have reportedly signed veteran MLB catcher Josh Phegley (ex-OAK and ex-CHW) to a minor league contract and an NRI to Spring Training (contract is pending because it has not yet been filed with MLB). 

     

  • CubbyBlue 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Yeah but that person figured out a way to make a profit off of it, so... hey WAIT!

     

  • crunch 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    "Cubs' pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Friday that Brandon Morrow (elbow) will be on the same schedule as the rest of the Cubs' pitchers during spring training."

    that's cool.  no restrictions unless the team chooses to be cautious, evidently.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    The Danny Hultzen and Carlos Asuaje minor league contracts have been filed with MLB, but no Jason Adam or Tyler Olson contract filings (yet).  

     

  • cubbies.4ever 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    My son's name is Tyler Olsen (obviously spelled different, and only 6 but a future Cub), so I am rooting for Tyler to make the team. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    And Tyler Olson has a similar profile as Casey Sadler (out of minor league options and has Article XX-D rights if he is added to the 40), the only difference being (unlike Sadler) Olson will come to Spring Training not on the 40 so he can be sent to Iowa without restrictions, but if & when he's added to the 40 he isn't a Des Moines - Chicago shuttle-rider candidate. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Unfortunately (for the Cubs) Casey Sadler doesn't fit as a Des Moines - Chicago shuttle-rider because he is out of minor league options and he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted (he has Article XX-D rights because he been outrighted previously in his career).