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.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 25 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 Atlabtic League and Can-Am League as well as winter ball in Australia this past winter.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 44 min ago (view)
DJL: Nothing from Sunday or Monday.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 44 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 2 hours 14 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.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 9 min ago (view)
I love these scouting reports. Thanks Phil!
You wouldn't happen to have this info for the road games Sun and Mon?
Arizona Phil 3 hours 20 min ago (view)
W-RAT: Mark Zagunis is assigned to AAA Iowa but he did not get an NRI to MLB Spring Training. He is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 World Series if he is not added back to an MLB reserve list (40-man roster) in the meantime.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 44 min ago (view)
Most of the pitchers who threw today pitched Saturday night, so not a lot of new pitch/velo info.
NOTES: First Cactus League game outing of 2020 for Lester... looked uncomfortable on the mound and even when he was warming up in the bullpen before the game... stuff and command were not sharp... hopefully Lester has at least one good year left in him...
Wrigley Rat 3 hours 51 min ago (view)
Whatever happened to Mark Zagunis? I thought we still held his rights, but he was just out of options? Haven't heard anything about him in awhile & I think he would make a good platoon partner with Schwarber.
crunch 4 hours 59 min ago (view)
3h 43m game today.
at least i've seen a lot of "i need to hop on baseball reference" cubs minor leaguers and new hires in the past 2 days.
rex brothers looked good again.
crunch 6 hours 57 min ago (view)
1h 50min into the game and they're through 4 innings.
yesterday's game was 3h 45m.
crunch 8 hours 15 min ago (view)
lester seems to be leaving off where he was for the last couple months of the season in 2019.
no one should take anything from a february spring training start...NONETHELESS...this outing looked a lot like the ones he spent in the last couple months of the season with batters sitting around waiting to swing at lester fastballs and laying off everything else.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
he paced for 20+HR last year and might have done it if he wasn't on unpaid leave for a while. i'd handicap him as a 15-20HR guy at worst rather than saying 20HR solid. it's probably a safer range.
his D isn't up there with the all-time greats of the game, but it's well above average for a young guy (turned 26 last month) who can also provide some pop. i think more than a few teams could slot him in as a middle IF starter without having much internal competition.
Rob Richardson 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
He hit 20+ HR only once and that was four years ago. He has a career OBP of 312, a career SLG of 392, and is his SS defense really that special anymore?
crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
kinda crazy a.russell is still a free agent.
he's not the first and probably not the last domestic abuser to "serve his time" and find contracts to sign. there's a 20HR guy who plays great D at SS sitting out there while spring training is going down without him.
i wonder how much he's demanding (if that's an issue at all) vs teams that want no part of him...
First.Pitch.120 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Don't forget the awesome taste of RizzO's !!!
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
ha. also, this reminds me that Grand Slam cereal existed in the late 90s. it was basically Kix with the marshmallows from Lucky Charms (in baseball items shape). it was actually really good.