Cubs @ Mets: Hendricks vs. Syndergaard (Game 132)

CHC (70-61): RHP Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 3.20 ERA)
NYM (67-64): RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-6, 3.71 ERA)
First pitch 6:10pmCDT

The Cubs started the road series with a win over Marcus Stroman and continue with another tough match-up today. Hendricks takes the mound, fresh off a very good performance against the Giants that yielded him a win. He pitched seven scoreless, collecting seven strikeouts and allowing three hits along the way. The Mets most dangerous hitters have seen little of Mr. Tenure Track, but Todd Frazier is 3-12 with two doubles and two walks. The bullpen should be extremely well rested following an off day and an 8-inning start from Yu.

Noah Syndergaard has missed slightly fewer bats this year and has a higher ERA than usual, but most of his peripherals suggest he's been pretty near as dominant as in his past. He's still averaging 98 MPH on his fastball and getting groundballs in almost half of all balls in play. Current Cubs have been shockingly fine against him. Javy, who broke out of a slump in a big way last night, is 4-7 with two strikeouts off the fireballer. Bryant is 3-8, Heyward is 4-11, and Russell (also with a HR yesterday) is an adequate 2-6. No current Cubs has homered off the righty. Rizzo, 2-10 with four strikeouts off of Syndergaard, may just get another day to rest his back.

Comments

With the season over for both AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2, the Cubs have supposedly assigned several of their AZL pitchers to throw "live" BP to Ben Zobrist. It doesn't appear to be happening in Mesa, however. 

Ben Zobrist must be reinstated from the Restricted List (and added back to the MLB 40-man roster) prior to midnight on 8/31 in order to be eligible to play in the post-season.  

For formality sake, they could do it after their game on the 31st and option somebody from the Iowa to Chicago shuttle. However would that person still be required to be "sent down" for 10 days even without a minor league season to hypothetically participate in?

ERICH081: As long as the Cubs wait until after the game on 8/31 (it's a day game) to reinstate Zobrist from the Restricted List, there does not need to be a corresponding move on the Cubs MLB Active List (25-man roster) because rosters expand from 25 to 40 on 9/1. But he must be reinstated prior to midnight on 8/31 in order to be eligible to play in the post-season, so he will very likely be reinstated from the Restricted List sometime after the game on 8/31 but prior to midnight and then he will be placed on the Cubs Active List prior to the game on 9/1.  

There is still the issue of who Ben Zobrist replaces on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when he is reinstated (presumably after the game on Saturday). 

1. I have mentioned Justin Steele before and why the Cubs probably would prefer not to recall him from his Optional Assignment and place him on the MLB 60-day IL to make room for Zobrist on the 40. They can do it, but not only would it cost the Cubs an extra $80,000+ in salary (the difference between Steele's minor league split salary and the MLB minimum salary he would make while on the MLB 60-day IL plus the additional CBT tax and CBT surchage the Cubs would have to pay on the salary because they are over the CBT threshold), but Steele would also accrue 29 days of MLB Service Time while on the 60- day IL, and he could not be outrighted to the minors during the off-season or Spring Training if he were to sustain a major injury (which he could be if he does not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2019).      

2. Daniel Descalso could be transferred to the 60-day IL. Because time spent on the 10-day IL counts toward the 60 days a player must spend on the 60-day IL before he can be reinstated, Descalso would be eligible to be reinstated on 9/22 and would be eligible to play in the post-season. He also could continue his Minor League Rehab Assignment with AAA Iowa while the I-Cubs are playing in the PCL playoffs after Labor Day (although it might seem hard to believe, there is no restriction on an MLB player doing an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment with a minor league team participating in a league playoff). If this happens, the Cubs would just be delaying their 40-man roster decision unitl 9/22, but by then there will be only seven days left in the MLB regular season and it wouldn't cost as much in terms of salary and MLB Service Time to recall Justin Steele from his Optional Assignment and place him on the MLB 60-day IL (Steele is shut-down with a strained oblique). Or maybe somebody else will get hurt in the meantime and will be placed onto or transferred to the 60-day IL by 9/22. 

3. Somebody could get Designated for Assignment. That could be Descalso, too. The Cubs could offer to either transfer him to the 60-day IL, give him his release, or outright him to the minors. It would be his choice. If he takes his release, the Cubs would be on the hook for what remains of his contract (offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary if he signs a major league contract with another club after being released). If he accepts the Outright Assignment, he gets an NRI to Spring Training and has a chance to make the Cubs Opening Day roster next season or else play at AAA Iowa. If he goes on the 60-day IL, he remains inactive possibly beyond 9/22, but he would remain with the club and be eligible to play in the 2019 post-season if activated from the IL. 

There are several other candidates on the 40 besides Descalso who could get a DFA, including a post-2019 free-agent like Derek Holland. Also a minor leaguer presently on the 40 who will be out of minor league options in 2020 (Alec Mills, Randy Rosario, Duane Underwood Jr, and Mark Zagunis) and thus will have no value as a "Des Moines - Chicago shuttle" guy in 2020 could get dropped to make room on the 40 for Zobrist on 8/31.

Something to keep in mind about Cole Hamels being on the Paternity Leave List is that he must be reinstated after three days (max), so Hamels must be reinstated on Friday even though he isn't scheduled to start until Saturday, and then somebody who is presently on the 25-man roster will have to be placed on the Injured List or optioned to the minors or DFA'd when Hamels is reinstated, and if a player presently on the 25 is optioned to the minors, he must remain on Optional Assignment to the minors for at least ten days unless he is recalled to replace a player who is placed on an MLB inactive list (IL, Paternity, Bereavement, etc).  

It used to be that a player could be recalled after spending less than ten days on Optional Assignment if his minor league team's season had ended (so for example James Norwood could be optioned to AA Tennessee -- which unlike Iowa will not be in the playoffs -- on Friday and then recalled on Tuesday after Tennessee's last game on Monday), but that is no longer the case. If Norwood (for example) is optioned back to the minors when Hamels is renistated from the Paternity Leave List on Friday, he cannot be recalled for at least ten days (until Monday 9/9) unless he is recalled to replace a player who is placed on an MLB inactive list. That's why you will sometimes see a player placed on the Injured List in September. 

heyward / cast / bryant / baez / schwarb / russell / happ(1st) / caratini / hendricks

rizzo expected to miss tomorrow's game, too.

tarp on the field at gametime, delayed start...supposedly it's going to be a very short delay.

cast takes a HBP to the hand.

NEAT.  COOL.  AWESOME.

he's staying in the game, but ow.

this game is good.  the rain can stop now, plz...need to finish this one.

hendricks comes to the plate before throwing a pitch...thor's thrown 29 for 6 runs and 1 out.

My supersticiousness must be flaring up, becaus an early lead like this against a starter like Syndergaard in an important game is giving me the willies.

2nd inning good, too.

schwarb with career high homer #31.

the rain is obviously playing a role in this bad pitching, but this is a stomping by cubs bats.

3rd inning good, too.

cast with a HR...think his hand might be fine.

thor is still pitching for some reason.

hendricks pulled with 2 on and 4 in with 2 outs in the 5th.

he had a 9 run lead not too long ago.  cubs up by 5.  phelps in to clean up the last out.

harsh no-decision for hendricks.

...and phelps gives up a run.  neat.  4 run lead.

2019 Cubs: nothing comes easy. Except road losses. Those come easy and quite frequently 

Game similar to the Q start about a month ago where he got pulled in the fifth inning before a big lead was completely squandered. He’s pitched pretty well since then. 

of course b.brach comes in and pitches 1ip 0h 0bb 2k vs the cubs in quick order.

kimbrel game #19 and i'm very much over his drama innings.  damn, yo.

bit of fun...the story behind the keith comstock "baseball to the crotch" baseball card...

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/27425987/guy-b...

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  • bradsbeard 14 hours 1 min ago (view)

    Angels also make sense as a destination for Kris Bryant. 

     

  • azbobbop 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    I wonder if Maddon will take any of the coaches with him.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    I doubt that Maddon would have taken the job if the Angels aren't fully prepared to sign one or maybe even two FA TOR SP (like Gerrit Cole and/or Stephen Strasburg if he opts out). 

    When you have the best player in MLB and now the highest-paid manager, not making the playoffs again in 2020 just can't be acceptable. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    HOU/NYY postponed.

     

  • crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    as expected, joe maddon to be the new manager of the angels.

    btw, it is unlikely tonight's HOU @ NYY (10/16) will happen because of rain that's going to start 3-4 hours before game time and carry well into the night.

     

  • crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    world series will be played in DC for the first time since 1933.  neat.

     

  • crunch 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    and it's only getting worse...i mean, better.

    7 runs to pad out the 1st.

     

  • Craig A. 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Oof. Hudson leaves the game after giving up five runs on singles and doubles and only getting one out. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    The thing about Kris Bryant is that he would probably be traded only to a club that feels that it under-achieved in 2019 and where the owner is exerting pressure from the top and who therefore will over-pay for two years of Kris Bryant. 

     

  • Charlie 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Yeah, it seems like I lean more toward overvaluing Bryant than most commenters here. Also, I completely stopped following prospect lists once the Cubs were good again, so I'm out of the loop on Pache especially. I had imagined that the Cubs would be looking more for immediate major league value rather than a projectable prospect, but I guess if you really like Pache you don't mind waiting a couple years.

     

  • K Dub 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    PHIL: Excellent breakdown, Phil. Thanks. 

    I'm sure you heard. QO value was set at $17.8 million the day after you made your post.

     

  • K Dub 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Pache, Wright, Muller and Riley feels light to you, Charlie? I respect your opinion, but I would jump at it. I highly doubt the Braves would do it, though. Were talking 2 years of Bryant at what could be 18 million and 28-30 million in his last year of arbitration. 

    The Cubs would be hurting their chances next year and building for 2021 in a deal like that, but that's rebuilding/retooling in one fell swoop. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: Austin Riley is actually a third-baseman but he had to play LF for the Braves in 2019 because he was blocked by Josh Donaldson, and Cristian Pache is considered to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minors and his bat has improved enough over the past year or two to where he is now rated in or just outside the top ten overall prospects in MLB.

    So a package that includes Riley and Pache and one of the Braves young MLB or MLB-ready SP would probably be more than enough to get the Cubs to bite.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Max Fried or Bryse Wilson

     

  • crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    https://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/27828247/...

    t.skaggs story keeps getting deeper.

    allegations the team knew about skagg's drug abuse (also his family).  teams are required to report this to MLB.

     

  • Charlie 5 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Except for the headline, the linked post reads more like a trade hypothetical than a trade rumor. I like the idea of looking at this package as a discussion point for expected return for Bryant. I would say it feels a little light to me. It's deep, with two decent outfield prospects with upside and two OK pitching prospects. But Riley doesn't help the team solve the CF problem right now, so he's either redundant to Bote or sort of a Schwarber replacement. Muller's inflated BB% at AA this year worries me a bit too.