Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 115-118)
The Cubs extended their division lead a bit by taking two out of three from the A's. They'll get four whacks at the Reds this weekend, who remain a surprisingly not terrible team. Read more for match-ups.
Game 115, Thursday, August 8, 6:10pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (6-3, 2.84 ERA)
CIN: LHP Alex Wood (1-0, 3.18 ERA)
Hamels pitched 5 scoreless against Milwaukee on August 3 but got a no-decision in his return from the I.L. His only work against Cincinnati this season was the 1-inning affair that sent him to the I.L. on June 28. Votto is 6-24 off of him.
Alex Wood has made two starts this season, allowing four earned runs across 11.1 innings. Bryant is 3-8 with a homer off of him and Heyward is 4-10.
Game 116, Friday, August 9, 6:10pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (4-5, 4.36 ERA)
CIN: RHP Trevor Bauer (9-8, 3.85 ERA)
Yu Darvish has been much improved lately. He's issued two walks since July 3, and struck out 44 in that time. The one mark against him is that even during that stretch he hasn't been able to avoid damage from homeruns, allowing five long balls in those six starts. Derek Dietrich is 4-10 with two homeruns off of him.
Trevor Bauer was traded to the Reds shortly after his in-game long-toss incident. His first start since the trade resulted in a no-decisions, as he pitched 4.2 and allowed two earned runs. Albert Almora has 3 singles against him in 6 at bats. Castellanos is 14-50 with four doubles and one homerun. Bauer has struck him out 10 times.
Game 117, Saturday, August 10, 6:10pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-8, 3.06 ERA)
CIN: RHP Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.25 ERA)
Hendricks allowed two earned runs over 6.1 innings in his last start and last allowed more than two earned runs on June 14. Votto is 10-26 with three homeruns off of him.
Gray pitched around four walks in his last start to hold Atlanta scoreless in seven innings. He last allowed more than two earned runs on June 21. Castellanos is 3-6 with a double and a triple off of him. Zobrist is 4-7. (How close is he to a potential return?)
Game 118, Sunday, August 11, 12:10pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (9-8, 4.39 ERA)
CIN: RHP Luis Castillo (11-4, 2.63 ERA)
Lester has been bad lately. Let's go back to his last good start. He pitched seven scoreless innings against the Brewers on July 27. Reds hitters have put up a .829 OPS against him over 160 at bats. Suarez has his number and is 12-37 with 4 homeruns.
Luis Castillo has been good lately. He's struck out 20 batters over his last 14 innings and allowed only one walk. Let's go back to his last bad start. He allowed six earned runs in five innings to the Rockies on July 26. Ian Happ is 4-7 off of him and Kyle Schwarber is 5-14 with three homeruns.
bradsbeard 1 hour 48 sec ago (view)
The draft over the ASB and the trade deadline pushed back until August 15th or so would make sense. Otherwise, I don't know how scouting departments are going to handle the draft lead up and the trade deadline running almost simultaneously.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 17 min ago (view)
One other thing about MLB player development that is very different from NFL, NBA, and NHL player development is that most MLB clubs have upwards of 300 minor league players under contract (not including players on their MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs presently have 301 minor leaguers under contract on nine minor league affiliates).
Arizona Phil 1 hour 17 min ago (view)
JUST SAYIN: MLB is the only one of the four major North American professional sports that holds its draft and signs its draft picks during the season.
crunch 9 hours 49 min ago (view)
umpire eric cooper has died...complications from knee surgery (blood clot)...52 years old
crunch 21 hours 21 min ago (view)
"MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."
espada's had 2 interviews. for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work. SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.
JustSayin' 22 hours 46 min ago (view)
That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter. MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent. They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players. In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted. For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col
Hagsag 23 hours 10 min ago (view)
Thanks Mr. Phil.
Arizona Phil 1 day 12 min ago (view)
HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll.
crunch 1 day 38 min ago (view)
The discussions on this matter have been quite varried. There seems to be a lot of pressure connected to this on minor league team owners who haven't upgraded their facilities/park in a while or who lag in quality compared to their competitors.
It seems like this would not only cause some teams to fold, but some radical redistribution of existing teams/cities into new minor league levels rather than just pruning some teams over others.
Hagsag 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.
crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic. wow.
altuve continues to build his astros legend.
bradsbeard 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen.
bradsbeard 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab.
JustSayin' 2 days 21 hours ago (view)
Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday? Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?) Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back?
Arizona Phil 2 days 22 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.
Charlie 2 days 23 hours ago (view)
Who are you all rooting for in the World Series? I'm rooting for the Nats to face and defeat Houston, I think, but with very mild interest. Let them get that championship out of the way and then maybe go the way of the post-2016 Cubs.