Cubs vs. Reds: Mills vs. DeSclafani (Game 95)
CHC (50-44): RHP Alec Mills (0-0, -.-- ERA)
CIN (43-48): RHP Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 4.26 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT
Bad news first: The Cubs dropped the first game of the series in frustrating fashion (no hitting with RISP, fielding errors, bullpen inadequacy) and Willson is going to the IL with a foot injury. In the meantime, the Cubs are sending Mike Montgomery to KC in exchange for Martin Maldonado. Caratini seems likely to get plenty of at bats and the Cubs will have the option to use him more in the pinch if they keep Maldonado around after Contreras's IL stint ends.
More bad news, for me specifically: I forgot that Cole Hamels injured his oblique! Alec Mills's spot start comes as a surprise to me only. The 27-year-old righty has spent all of 2019 at AAA so far. I no longer know to evaluate minor league pitching stats now that the pitcher-friendly PCL combines with the juiced MLB ball, but he's gone 6-2 with a 4.73 ERA for the I-Cubs. He wasn't too bad in 18 innings with Chicago last year, making two starts and appearing twice out of the bullpen. The first of those starts was was a no-decision against Cincinnati, in which Mills allowed one earned run over 5.2 innings while striking out eight. He allowed one run to score on a Philip Ervin double in the second. The Cubs won that August 24th game on a walk-off HR from Bote.
Following his victory over the Cubs on June 30, DeSclafani's last start was a no-decision against Cleveland. He allowed two earned runs in six innings pitched on a pair of solo homeruns. Bryant is 7-20 off of him with a homerun (1-3 with a double against him on 6/30) and Schwarber is 5-14 with a homer and three walks (2-3 with two singles off him and a homer off Lorenzen on 6/30).
The Cubs are 3-7 against the Reds prior to today's game.
crunch 4 min 5 sec ago (view)
4 additional charges (as of now, unnamed) have been filed.
crunch 11 min 53 sec ago (view)
zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini(1st) / heyward / hoerner / darvish
Arizona Phil 14 min 18 sec ago (view)
Betcha the Dodgers are really glad that they didn't trade Gavin Lux for Vazquez at the trade deadline.
crunch 19 min 35 sec ago (view)
28 year old PIT closer felipe vazquez (one of the best in the game for the last 3 years) nabbed for hooking up with a child for the past couple years (age 13-15).
anything less than a full exoneration pretty much sinks his career unless he wants to run for office in Georgia.
he's being charged with "one count of computer pornography - solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minor" (this was all uncovered when the mother of the child discovered text messages)
Arizona Phil 1 hour 41 min ago (view)
I strongly believe that there will be some major changes on the Cubs after this season, even if the Cubs somehow win the World Series. There won't be a tear-down/rebuild lke 2012-14, but I can see the Cubs going younger.
Arizona Phil 2 hours 16 min ago (view)
I think Jon Lester wil be treated as a much-respected "franchise legend" next season, getting the honor of starting on Opening Day, but then being considered the #3 or #4 starter after that before getting his well-earned $10M "golden parachute" after the season. He won't be disrepected by the club, but his time as the go-to guy at the top of the rotation will be over. (Actually it's already over).
Arizona Phil 2 hours 37 min ago (view)
Keep in mind that Yu Darvish does have an opt-out after this season, so if he and/or his agent think he can get at least 4/$81M (which is what he presently is owed 2020-23) as a post-2019 FA he could opt-out.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 4 min ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Colin Rea hasn't pitched in almost two weeks so I doubt that the Cubs will call him up (they probably should have assigned him to the AFL to get him back into SP shape, but they didn't). That said, If the Cubs were to call-up Rea right now (and they would really need to do it ASAP for him to be useful as a SP) they could recall Justin Steele and place him on the 60-day IL to open up a spot on the 40 for Rea, so that part really isn't a problem.
Charlie 3 hours 17 min ago (view)
Regarding last night's 9th: Kyle Ryan unwilling or unable to throw his curveball is a little ugly.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 19 min ago (view)
SS Zack Short (replacing Nico Hoerner) and RHRP Scott Effross have been added to the AFL Mesa Solar Sox roster.
bradsbeard 3 hours 20 min ago (view)
With all of Lester, Hamels, and Q struggling, how likely would you say a Graveman or Rea callup would be at this point in the season to add some long man depth or even take one of those guys’ next turns? Assuming they could call up Steele and place him on the 60 day IL to free up a roster spot. Obviously there’s the matter of Graveman’s bonus but Rea would be relatively cheap for two weeks.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 21 min ago (view)
Maybe Rizzo can wear Bill Buckner high-tops. It's not like Rizz was a fast runner to begin with.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 26 min ago (view)
DJL: I think Cole Hamels has probably pitched his way out of a QO.
Even though it means the Cubs won't get a compensation draft pick were Hamels to sign elsewhere prior to next June's draft, the danger in offering a QO would be that he would either accept the QO and tie-up about $20M in 2020 payroll, or decline the QO and then (like Keuchel and Kimbrel) wait until after the June draft to sign with another club so that the Cubs wouldn't get a draft pick.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 55 min ago (view)
Yeah him and Q both have been pretty crappy down the stretch. I wonder if Hamels is pitching his way out of a qualifying offer.
crunch 20 hours 13 min ago (view)
cole hamels continues to suck.
3.1, 4.1, 3.1 innings his last 3 starts. he hasn't been the same since coming back after his july injury rest.
crunch 21 hours 10 min ago (view)
so far so good...
it's kinda frightening that schwarb in LF is a better option than schwarb playing 1st with rizzo out. i wonder how bad it really is...