Cubs vs. Pirates: Darvish vs. Archer (Game 87)
CHC (45-41): RHP Yu Darvish (2-4, 4.98 ERA)
PIT (41-43): RHP Chris Archer (3-6, 5.50 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT
The third game of the set is a battle of shadows of former aces. Yu Darvish has spent all of 2019 trying to regain some modicum of control after missing most of 2018. Of late he's surrendered fewer walks but allowed too many homeruns. He gave up seven homeruns in five June starts, 29.1 innings pitched. Most recently he struck out eight while allowing five earned runs in five innings to Atlanta. He lost to Pittsburgh on April 10, allowing five runs, four earned in 5.1 innings pitched. Subtracting out Cervelli (6-10) and Chisenhall (2-10 with a homerun), current Pirates are 10-30 off of him with two homeruns and two walks. Corey Dickerson is 4-7 with one of those homeruns.
Something is very much up with Chris Archer. His walks are way up and so is his homerun rate. He's posting his lowest groundball percentage and his highest flyball percentage and homerun-per-flyball percentage. His strikeouts are down a touch too, but still more than one per each inning pitched. His velocity is also down a little over one MPH, which is often suggestive of a health issue. Last time out he got a no-decision in four innings and allowed a couple earned runs. He has yet to get through a start without issuing a walk, and the last time he started without allowing an earned run was April 1. On June 11 he allowed five homeruns to Atlanta. This will be his first start against this Cubs this year. Javy is 5-9 off of him, Heyward is 3-4 with three walks, and Rizzo is 2-9 with three walks. Schwarber has the lone Cub homerun but is also 1-6 with four strikeouts.
Charlie 32 min 57 sec ago (view)
This is the take if you see him as a legit prospect. Which, maybe? I know little about him, and his numbers in limited AAA exposure last season were really nice. Maybe a lively ball helps his career.
bradsbeard 50 min 54 sec ago (view)
Sounds like a long shot to get a trade done then. Thanks for clarifying!
Arizona Phil 1 hour 11 min ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Before making a trade with the Rule 5 Draft pick's former club, the drafting club must first place the player on Outright Assignment Waivers and any of the other MLB clubs can claim the player for the $50,000 waiver price and assume the Rule 5 Draft obligations (actually it's Rule 6 Selected Player obligations, but you know what I mean).
bradsbeard 2 hours 25 min ago (view)
AZ Phil, the "work out a trade" part of Rule 5 is still a mystery to me. Do the Cubs have to put Megill through waivers and (if he clears) offer him back to SD before they can trade for him?
Arizona Phil 2 hours 26 min ago (view)
For those of you who didn't see the game, here are the pitch-velo readings from Wednsdays Cubs - Royals game:
NOTES: An amazing pitcher... he's probably in mid-season form right now... just needs to gradually increase innings...
NOTES: A legit candidate to be the 5th starter
Craig A. 3 hours 25 min ago (view)
Craig A. 3 hours 25 min ago (view)
He'll be 27 in May and he's played in 36 games at AAA. Seems like he should be playing regularly.
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 9 min ago (view)
I really like this idea. They've talked of a 3rd catcher as 26th meaning Phegley, who seems a waste of roster space, good spring notwithstanding. Higgins is far more interesting
tim815 7 hours 16 min ago (view)
Is Brailyn Marquez getting any time in big league camp? Having him around the veterans would seem a solid use of resources.
Thanks, as always.
Charlie 7 hours 36 min ago (view)
Hot take: The Cubs should be considering PJ Higgins as the potential 26th man. 3rd catcher / infield sub who can put the bat on the ball.
I think I'm just stealing an AZ Phil projection from a while ago, actually. But it makes sense!
Charlie 8 hours 38 min ago (view)
Zagunis's stock has dropped a lot since his first exposure to MLB pitching. His 2019 at AAA is particularly alarming given the power spike in that league.
Hagsag 14 hours 14 min ago (view)
I see that Dillon Maples hasn't pitched yet. Is he injured or spending time in the lab?
Arizona Phil 21 hours 33 min ago (view)
The Cubs have purchased the contract of 26-year old RHRP Jonathan de Marte from Quebec (Frontier League) and he has been assigned to AZL Cubs Blue.
He is the closer for Team Israel and has no previous experience in affiliated ball.
He was a NDFA out of the U. of Richmond in 2017 and has been playing independent ball for the past three seasons in the Atlantic League and Can-Am League as well as winter ball in Australia this past winter.
Arizona Phil 23 hours 24 min ago (view)
DJL: Nothing from Sunday or Monday.
Arizona Phil 23 hours 25 min ago (view)
W-RAT: Mark Zagunis was sent outright to the minors last September, and because he did not have the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted he remains under club control through the 2020 season, and so he is signed to a minor league contract that expires at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the 2020 World Series.
Wrigley Rat 23 hours 55 min ago (view)
Thank you AZ Phil! Does that mean he's been signed to a minor league contract, then? Because he's out of options.