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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  • crunch 39 min 49 sec ago (view)

    happ / rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / baez / schwarber / caratini / kipnis / hoerner(3rd)

    eloy will not start this weekend for CWS and may be unavailable to pinch hit, too (foot injury).

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 49 min 13 sec ago (view)

    Even more of a shame when you consider we gave up a decent prospect for him

     

  • Jackstraw 1 hour 27 min ago (view)

    Wisdom been in short supply in 2020.  Glad we got some.

     

  • crunch 1 hour 37 min ago (view)

    we all have...for a few weeks...

    it kinda sucks.  shame he may end his career speed bump with the cubs not even getting a hit.  if you're a no-fielding hitter, you kinda need to get the hitting part down, though.  speaking of...check out what vogelbomb is doing in MIL after getting cut loose by SEA.

     

  • Cubster 1 hour 43 min ago (view)

    Dang, was hoping for a Jose Martinez hit.

     

  • Cubster 1 hour 44 min ago (view)

    THe Chicago Cubs announced that they have selected the contract of infielder Patrick Wisdom and veteran Jose Martinez has been optioned. 

    Wisdom will be be available tonight and wear No. 59.

    The 29-year-old has a .224 average with four homers and 11 RBIs during his MLB career.

    The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Wisdom in the first round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Saint Mary's College.

    To make room on the roster, Manny Rodriguez has been recalled from Double AA and placed on the 45-day IL.

     

  • crunch 2 hours 31 min ago (view)

    there's been some heat surrounding b.marquez being added to the playoff pool, if not getting a callup in this last week (not gonna happen at this point, i imagine).

    he's gonna shoot up prospect lists this off-season, he should be on top of everyone's Cubs team prospect lists right now.

     

  • Cubster 10 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Bluejays locked up a playoff spot. Looks like it's the Astros that are out. They are unlikely to get a "Buffalo" home game if they are the last seed.

    =============

    Tribune Cub Notes (Friday AM):

    Revenue drop leads to layoffs

    By Mark Gonzales

    The Cubs on Thursday laid off about 60 members of their business department because of declining revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a source told the Tribune.

     

  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    the scary part of this team-wide slump, and especially this series, is PIT is basically a AAA level talent team that had 15 wins all season coming into the cubs series.

    cubs are limping into the post-season.  heyward is pretty much the only consistent hitter.  well, technically jose martinez has been consistent, too.

     

  • blockhead25 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Hey, anything could happen.  They could win 4 2-1 games in a series.

    Or lose 8-0, 6-0 in the first round and be done.

     

  • Charlie 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    3 days left to get psyched for the post season?

     

  • blockhead25 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    This is an impressive level of offensive offense.  This week feels like the final week of 2018 when we also had a lousy 4 game series with the Pirates, just without one of the other teams winning the final 8 games to catch us. 

     

  • QuietMan 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    So whatever happened to the don't pitch Mills the day after Hendricks plan?

     

  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / schwarber / maybin(CF) / kipnis / baez / caratini / bote

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    I agree with all of this. I think KB is traded for a SP. I guess here is my guess at the pitchers:

    Darvish

    Hendricks

    Trade Acquisition 

    Cheap FA

    Mills/ Alzolay 

    Bullpen: Mills/ Alzolay, Underwood, Adam, Tepera, Wick, Kimbrel, Ryan, Wieck (Alzolay if he loses the 5th spot battle with Mills is still starter number 6, and likely being groomed to join the rotation either later in the year or 2022)

     

  • Charlie 2 days 4 min ago (view)

    Frazier beat him on an inside corner two-seamer (albeit belt high), but the Hayes homer came on an 0-2 meatball. Not very professorial.