Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 153-156)

It's here, the Cubs vs. Cards series we've been waiting for. The Cubs feel to three games behind the Cardinals, remained in a tie with the Brewers for the second Wild Card spot, and fell behind the Nationals by 1.5 for the top Wild Card spot. That means, it would take a Cubs sweep of the four-game set to jump over the Cardinals in the division this weekend, right where you would want to be so that you don't have to end the season needing a sweep of the Cards on the road. The Cubs will have to continue to do their most important work without Javy, Rizzo, or even the backup Russell. In the meantime, they will continue to rely on mid-season additions (Castellanos), recent reactivations (Contreras, Zobrist), and 2019 newbies (Hoerner, Kyle Ryan, Rowan Wick, etc.). See below for how this hodge-podge will match up with the Cards.


Game 153, Thursday, September 19, 6:15pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-9, 3.26 ERA)
STL: RHP Jack Flaherty (10-8, 3.05 ERA)

This may be the biggest match-up. Will we stay invested, or hedge our emotional bets? That could depend on whether the Cubs can win this opening game. The Cubs send their best starting pitcher to face the Card's best. Hendricks has been strong in his last three starts, allowing a single earn run in each and going into the sixth as well. He's 3-0 in three starts against the Cards this year, one at home and two on the road. He has allowed one earned run in 23 innings pitched, with the first game being his 4-hit complete game shutout in St. Louis. Who else would you want starting against Flaherty? Ozuna is 12-29 with two homeruns off of him.

Something seems to have clicked for Flaherty in the second half, and he's been arguably the best pitcher in the league since then. His ERA is only 1.05 since then and he's stuck out 11.52 per nine innings. He took a loss to the Brewers in his last start, allowing three earned runs in six innings despite striking out ten. He's 1-1 in four starts against the Cubs this year, allowing nine earned runs in 21.2 innings. He'll be fortunate to miss Rizzo, who has done the vast majority of the Cubs' damage against him, going 8-15 with two homeruns.


Game 154, Friday, September 20, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (13-8, 4.37 ERA)
STL: RHP Michael Wacha (6-7, 4.76 ERA)

Quintana has been pulled early in each of his last starts, so he should be well rested? It's been a rough three-game stretch in which he has allowed thirteen earned runs in only 10.1 innings. In that time, he's benefitted from some offensive and bullpen rescues, going 1-0. It's time to pay back that favor. Cardinals hitters have, however, very much enjoyed their time against Q; they have a collective OPS of .931 in 152 at-bats. Goldschmidts stands out in particular at 8-13 with three homeruns. If he's not making his pitches, Q may find himself getting the quick hook for a third start in a row.

Michael Wacha has been terrible this year, but he's been a little sharper lately. He held Milwaukee scoreless in five innings last time out, and has allowed only nine earned runs in his last 31.2 innings over seven starts. The Cubs have collectively accrued a 1.011(!) OPS against Wacha over 218 at-bats. Bryant is 11-35 with three homeruns.


Game 155, Saturday, September 21, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.96 ERA)
STL: RHP Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.35 ERA)

Hamels looked like the Cubs best starter for quite a while, but he's long since come back to earth. He exited his last start in the fourth having allowed only two earned runs but also having walked five batters. Control has very much been the issue, as he's walked fourteen batters over his last seventeen innings. Good news? The strikeouts are still there. The Cards have generally not been able to figure him out, flailing their collective way to a .541 OPS in 179 at-bats. Matt Carpenter and Marcel Ozuna are just barely propping those numbers up, 5-15 and 9-38 (with a homerun) respectively.

After pitching a handful of innings out of the MLB bullpen last year, Dakota Hudson has been treated to 16 wins as a starter in 2019. He relies extensively on ground balls to keep the old ERA down, as he doesn't strike out many and walks over four per nine innings. He's missed the Cubs so far, making this his first exposure to them as a starter. Last time out he defeated the Nationals, allowing two earned runs in seven innings. Lucroy is 2-3 off of him.


Game 156, Sunday, September 22, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (6-7, 4.02 ERA)
STL: RHP Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.29 ERA)

Darvish's last start was extremely weird making it somehow typical for Yu in 2019 as well. He struck out 13, including 8 in a row at one point, but lost the game anyway, allowing four earned runs including a homerun in seven innings. Before that, he struck out 14 and earned a win in San Diego. Keep the Ks coming, but let's forego the dingers. The Cards haven't seen too much of him. Ozuna is 4-10 and Jose Martinez is 3-5 with a homerun.

Mikolas has been consistently OK throughout the year, and that's been his story of late as well. He's 2-1 in his last five starts, allowing 11 earned runs in 28 innings. He's 0-2 against the Cubs in three starts this year, but he's allowed only four earned run in those 16.2 innings. Cubs lefties have mostly fared better against him, including back-ups Caratini and Happ. Schwarber, 1-12 with four strikeouts, is an exception.


Let's go, Cubs!

Comments

zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini / heyward / hoe / hendricks

this lineup seems to be a popular thing.

Dang, I miss Javy and Rizz.

well, rizzo's back and leading off so hurrah.

very late add.

rizzo / cast / bryant / schwarb / zobrist / contreras / hey / hoe / hen

The Hey, Hoe, Hen alignment...

rizzo HR!

wow.  woo.

1- kimbrel activated

2- ham (shoulder fatigue) won't make his next start, a.mills to take his slot

3- baez cleared for light activity, hitting off tee, etc

At this point, I’m just hoping we do enough to play spoiler and force St Louis to play in the wild card game. Cause we’re toast

it would sting to not at least get one of the wild card slots.   ow.

Compare/contrast the 2016 and 2019 Cubs starting rotations (not to mention team defense as well).  The window was probably already shut this year but for how mediocre the division as a whole was - until St Louis broke away late. 

Seems like the rotation is just too old, especially with a bullpen this flimsy backing them up.

WHO LIKES 9th INNING DRAMA?

damn.  this team is killing me.

BAEZ PINCH running...

TIE GAME!!!!!

Solid contact by Nico there too

sigh.

kimbrel.

That’s now 7 homers allowed in 19.2 innings pitched by Kimbrel - woof

Send back to manufacturer and ask for a replacement.

Conversely, Padres closer Kirby Yates has allowed only two HR with a .184 OppBA and 13/100 BB/K in 59.2 IP and  Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez (now on Restricted List) has allowed just five HR with a .197 OppBA and 13/90 BB/K in 60.0 IP.  

Wash. Rinse. Repeat

again, bote REALLY needs to quit trying to duck under pitches up and inside.  move out of the way, dude.  backwards is an option.  that is a weird quirk he has going on.

cubs are out of a playoff slot (1st place or wild card slot) for the 1st time since april.

crushing defeat after a hell of a 9th inning comeback.

I’ve been thinking on this. And there have been so many crushing defeats it seems. And not a whole lot of really uplifting wins. I think it’s a factor of this team doesn’t come from behind a lot (winning last night would have been an amazing win) and seems to blow late leads or allow this type of loss. Last night was more evidence that this team just can’t finish anything.

I did feel changes were needed last offseason but I can see why they didn’t happen. They MUST make changes this offseason because the formula just isn’t working. Blown leads, inability for consistent offense, odd managerial choices.

This isn’t the 2016 or 2017 team of “no lead against the Cubs is safe” it’s more a “most leads the Cubs have aren’t safe” team. And it’s put us in the worst possible place in baseball currently: a good team that isn’t a contender.

kintzler available out of the pen again...welcome back

rizzo / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / bote (2nd) / heyward / hoe / mills

If he makes four more appearances prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, David Phelps' 2020 club option salary escalates from $3M to $5M (plus up to $3.25M in performance bonuses). 

Trades involving players on minor league reserve lists are prohibited beginning at 12 PM (Eastern) on the 7th day prior to the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season through the last day of the MLB regular season (including a day in which a Game #163 and Game #164 tie-breaker game is played or a day in which a re-scheduled game is played after the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season).  

So while players on MLB reserve lists (40-man rosters) and players on minor league reserve lists who were outrighted to the minors could not be traded after 4 PM Eastern on 7/31, beginning at 12 PM (Eastern) this coming Sunday, - ALL - trades (even trades involving minor league players) are prohibited until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.  

Players on MLB 40-man rosters can still be claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers and Outright Release Waivers throughout the last week of the MLB regular season, however.   

I hate Tommy Edman, and those of his ilk. The pissbirds are masters of getting a few good years out of middling prospect types like him. DeJong, Jon Jay, Matt Adams, Tommy Pham, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter... the list goes on and on.

6 innings, 5 pitchers used...and the cubs are down by 1 to show for it.

And nine hits ... with one run to show for it

Another game, another set of golden opportunities to add on to a lead wasted.

blah.

Welp. I guess I will continue to pay attention to the Wild Card race? Dropping the Michael Wacha game is bad.

i'll be over here watching Corner Gas DVDs waiting for 2020.

p.alonso (NYM) gets #50...not bad for a rookie.

also, MIL wins because of course why not.

cubs are 2 games behind in the WC standings for the 2nd slot...5 games behind STL in the central.

Cubs were 1 for 9 with RISP.

Neither of the Cards who scored had to take the bat off of their shoulder.

With the game on the line, Joe sends up Tony Kemp.

2019 season in microcosm.

Justin Grimm must have forwarded his Maddon blackmail material to Tony Kemp.

I just think Kemp has a Sharpie, and access to Joe's magic pocket card.

"Oh look, Kemp is hitting .438 in this situation.  TK, grab a bat".

Four double plays, too. Ugh.

Cubs pinch-hitters (so far) in 2019 (top ten sorted by PA): 

Tony Kemp: 267/389/433 with 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 HBP, 4/7 BB/K (36 PA combined HOU/CHC)
Daniel Descalso: 067/147/067 with 1 RBI, 1 SF, 1 SH, 3/11 BB/K (35 PA) 
David Bote: 318/423/455 with 3 2B, 4 RBI, 4/7 BB/K (26 PA) 
Victor Caratini: 421/522/789 with 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 HBP, 3/5 BB/K (23 PA) 
Mark Zagunis: 176/333/176 with 3 RBI, 4/12 BB/K (21 PA) 
Albert Almora: 111/200/278 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 HBP, 1/4 BB/K (20 PA)
Ian Happ: 333/389/600 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SF, 2/6 BB/K (16 PA)
Kyle Schwarber: 000/143/000 with 2/5 BB/K (14 PA) 
Addison Russell: 167/250/167 with 1 RBI, 1 SF, 1/1 BB/K (7 PA)
Robel Garcia: 000/000/000 with 5 K (7 PA) 

So Daniel Descalso is probably the one with the blackmail material.

Tommy LaStella (as PH in 2018) hit 312/396/416 with 5 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 2 HBP, 9/13 BB/K (79 PA) and it was one of the best PH performances in Cubs history, but if you pro-rate Victor Caratini's work so far as a PH in 2019 it is even better than LaStella in 2018 (except Caratini has struck out at a slightly higher rate than LaStella) and Bote's work as a PH in 2019 has been very good, too (although Bote has struck out at a higher rate than both Caratini and LaStella). 

But even with Caratini and Bote doing very well as pinch-hitters in 2019, if you want to look for reasons why the 2019 Cubs have had difficulty coming back late in games, essentially exchanging Tommy LaStella for Daniel Descalso is one of the reasons.  

Updated 2019 Cubs PH numbers (sorted by PA): 

Tony Kemp: 290/405/518 with 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 HBP, 4/7 BB/K (37 PA combined HOU/CHC)
Daniel Descalso: 067/147/067 with 1 RBI, 1 SF, 1 SH, 3/11 BB/K (35 PA) 
David Bote: 318/423/455 with 3 2B, 4 RBI, 4/7 BB/K (26 PA) 
Victor Caratini: 421/522/789 with 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 HBP, 3/5 BB/K (23 PA) 
Mark Zagunis: 176/333/176 with 3 RBI, 4/12 BB/K (21 PA) 
Albert Almora: 111/200/278 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 HBP, 1/4 BB/K (20 PA)
Ian Happ: 375/421/813 with 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SF, 2/6 BB/K (17 PA)
Kyle Schwarber: 000/143/000 with 2/5 BB/K (14 PA) 
Robel Garcia: 000/000/000 with 6 K (8 PA) 
Addison Russell: 167/250/167 with 1 RBI, 1 SF, 1/1 BB/K (7 PA)

Wind howling out at the start of game 3, and the Cards have a pretty good groundball pitcher on the mound whom the Cubs have not seen this season. Get psyched.

can we quit having schwarber steal bases?

...especially against f'n y.molina...

ham's shoulder fatigue is evidently still a factor and there's no timetable for his return.  he's not even throwing on the side.

those last 3 cruddy starts might be the last we've seen of him in a cubs uniform.

nico!!!

woo, cubs take a 1 run lead.

sigh.  nevermind that lead.

kemp!!

cubs lead on a hell of a second chance...from swinging strikeout to balk + retry on the AB turning into a 2r HR.

wow.

DFA Kimbrel...the 1st f'n pitch.  1 pitch.  tie game.

2nd pitch...also HR...cards lead.

kimbrel...wtf

7 pitches...2HR and a walk.

Cubbery! This game is like the entire season, complete roller coaster.  As soon as you think things are going well, the baseball gods smite you.  Calling it, in bottom of 9th, Cubs will get a couple of guys on and then take a 3rd strike looking.

how quickly these leads evaporate get to me.  it's deflating.

The patented Cub Tease Rally

baez pinch hitting.  okay, then.

baez K's on 3 pitches.

cubs lose their 5th in a row.  brews play a night game.

so...

who's gonna manage the cubs next year?  =p

barring a miracle over the next week i dunno if he's gonna make it to 2020.  replacing the manager is generally the go-to for a team looking to make a "major change" without actually spending much money.  i dunno if maddon can survive this collapse even if he doesn't shoulder much blame.

I'm gonna say Mike Borzello will be managing the Cubs in 2020, and Mark Loretta will get the SD job. 

And the MLB clubs that would probably have the highest degree of interest in Maddon for 2020 would be the Mets, Phillies, Angels, Pirates, White Sox, and Rockies (probably in that order).

Maddon shoulders plenty of blame. I’m not saying blame shouldn’t be anywhere else (cough pitching development) but Maddons style of managing is designed to keep a team loose. This team has been a little too loose since 2017. To say nothing of the puzzling bullpen management, excessive trust game to game and year to year, and other issues. Joe was the perfect guy to get this team the first title. He was never going to get us a second.

along with that, i'm not sure how maddon will adapt to not being able to use 6-15 pitchers in a 9 inning game once that's history.  it seems to be hard-wired into his managing DNA.  it's a bit of an exageration to say he wouldn't adapt, but his extremely "hands on" bullpen management seems to be one of his things.

I think what we saw with Joe Maddon and the Cubs players in 2019 is what happens when an audience has seen a comedian one too many times and the same old jokes that used to be hilarious just aren't funny anymore. Joe needs to find a new audience. 

Great article in the Sunday Sun Times by Gordan W. on who is to blame for this only above average team.

I think he made a few good points but was misguided in laying next to no blame on Maddon. He’s made many questionable decisions and plenty of those decisions have cost the team games.

Gordo was correct in laying blame on ownership. They hamstrung the front office. I have a hard time believing all they would have added was Descalso and Brach if they could have. Every time they had more money become available they added.

The front office has had two failings: player development and some bad FA signings. They seem to be reshuffling player development and amateur scouting, which is a good idea. FA signings by design are risky but they’ve had some success too. I find it strange that Gordo singles out Darvish and Chatwood considering Yu has been at worst our 2nd best starter this year (at least for The last few months) and Chatwood has actually been quite solid out of the pen (granted he’s getting too much money).

TLDR: Some good points but to me, the FO is the least to blame of the 3 facets (FO, on field mgmt/ players, and ownership).

Can we go back and swap Kimbrel for Keuchel?

Kimbrel has until October 31st to designate the eight MLB clubs to which he will not accept a trade, and then it will be up to the Cubs to find a taker (and good luck with that). 

I despised that pterodactyl clown on the ass sox last year. Now that's he's made it his miss to put the Cubs in a death spin... Just drop him off somewhere far away. 

Criaig Kimbrel has allowed nine HR in 22.2 IP, and Rowan Wick is the only pitcher who has thrown as many as 33 IP in MLB in 2019 who has yet to allow a HR. 

a loss is a loss, and there's more than a few of them with various people at fault...but kimbrel giving the cubs 4 losses in 22.2ip when given a lead to work with is some kind of special for a guy getting $16m a year to throw 60-70 innings.

brewers win.

14 wins in their last 16 games.

What a millstone Yelich must have been!

cards have caught one hell of a case of cubbery in the bottom 1st.

3 miscues, 1 cubs run.

...and k.bryant screws his leg/knee/ankle reaching trying to beat out a single...which he didn't.

he's being helped off the field.  neat.

i.happ playing 3rd because whatever.

Anybody else getting the feeling Yu might opt out?

Words I’d never thought I’d say. I’m even more surprised that I’d rather he not opt out!

that would make the offseason interesting if he did.

no ham, no darvish, lester pitching like a middle/end rotation guy...

Q and hendricks locked in with lester...graveman + a.mills + chatwood could compete to slot in, but it's highly unlikely they're the full answer for both slots...

We’d be in deep, deep trouble if that’s the starting 5 next March. I’d think only one of those 3 start the year in the rotation. Trades or maybe FA signings will fill out rotation.

you'd assume they have to bring in an ace of some sorts because none of those 6 are any better than a 2-3 slot rotation type as we know them now.

well, to be fair hendricks is an ace on paper, but even if he keeps doing what he's doing for another decade i dunno if i would ever feel comfortable calling the dude throwing 86mph an ace.  he's earned ace status, though.  meh, semantics...and prejustice against soft tossers...

Even if we allow Hendricks to be called the ace, Lester is a 4. The others are 5s. That’s not a rotation that leads anyone to the postseason.

DJL: I mentioned here last week that if Yu Darvish (and/or his agent) thinks he can get something north of 4/$81M (what is left of his Cubs contract 2020-23) that he will opt-out post 2019, since this will be his only opportunity to opt-out prior to becoming a FA again (at age 37) post-2023. 

As for where he might get that, I would say it could be the Angels, since they have only $121M commited in AAV going into 2020 and they desperately need two top-tier SP (like maybe Darvish & Cole or Darvish & Strasburg?). 

I actually would be surprised if Darvish doesn't opt-out. 

And if Darvish does indeed opt-out, the Cubs really need to seriously consider re-signing Nicholas Castellanos (even if it's a bit of an overpay) and then trade Kris Bryant for a couple of young SP.

Any team acquiring Bryant would know that it's strictly a two-year "rental" because Bryant is a Boras client and so he will not sign an extention before becoming a FA post-2021, so the Cubs will get something less than maximum value for Bryant.

That said, a club that might be very interested in Bryant (even if it's just for two years) is the Padres. They can play him in a corner OF spot, and the Padres have a stable of really good young pitchers (some already in the bigs and others close to being MLB-ready) and could afford to trade a couple of them and then get a draft pick post-2021 after extending Bryant a QO when he hits free-agency.

The Padres had no qualms about including LHSP prospect Logan Allen in the Trevor Bauer/Taylor Trammell/Franmil Reyes three-team deal involving SD-CIN-CLE at the trade deadline, so it's not like they are averse to moving young SP. RHSP Dinelson Lamet might be one possible SP target for the Cubs (he will be arbitration-eligible as a "Super Two" post-2019, making it more-likely that he would be available).    

CF Manuel Margot (also first-time arbitration-eligible) could be included in the package coming back to the Cubs, and the Cubs could also take back the Wil Myers contract as part of the deal. Myers is overpaid for what he is (3/$61M left through 2022) and the Padres would have no use for him if they were to acquire Bryant, but he can provide depth at the four corners (1B-3B-LF-RF) and some RH-hitting HR power, he is a good baserunner, and he could even be the emergency #3 catcher. 

As for which other MLB clubs might have interest in Bryant, I would think the Phillies, Mets, Indians, and Astros would be VERY interested, and so would the Nationals if they can't re-sign Anthony Rendon, and maybe even the White Sox if they want to make a splash to help finish their rebuild, but I doubt that any of those clubs would be willing to include the type of young players (especially young SP) the Cubs would probably want back for Bryant (although it would be a much different matter if the Sox would be willing to include RHSP Dylan Cease and CF Luis Robert or if the Phillies would be willing to deal 3B Alec Bohm and RHSP Spencer Howard).  

How would the Cubs handle 3b position if Bryant is traded for young arms?  Would Cubs use the Darvish/Bryant money and go after Rendon?

SW75: I don't think the Cubs would replace Kris Bryant by signing a FA like Anthony Rendon. I suspect the Cubs are more-likely to go with a younger player at 3B, with possibly David Bote playing there temporarily until a more-permanent 3B is developed. I do believe the Cubs would be interested in signing Nicholas Castellanos to a long-term deal, however, especially as part of a larger plan to move Bryant in a trade.  

Last week when I talked about the possibility that the Cubs would shop Bryant post-2019, I mentioned that the Reds are the type of "no rebuild while Joey Votto Is still here" operation that might be interested in acquiring players like Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ. Schwarber is a native of the Cincinnati area and would probably hit 50 HR playing 81 games in that ball park and Happ was a college All-American at the U. of Cincinnati and hits like Rogers Hornsby in GABP. And the Reds have two former 1st round draft picks whose natural position is 3B (Nick Senzel and Jonathan India), but both are blocked at that position by Eugenio Suarez, which necessitated moving Senzel to CF in 2019 (even though he is an above-average defensive third baseman).

However, Senzel just had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder so his future is a bit murky at the moment, and India is currently playing in the AFL and therefore should be ready for AA in 2020, meaning he is probably two years away from MLB. But Senzel and India are the type of players the Cubs will probably look to acquire for a Schwarber/Happ package (or even separately). The Reds also have younger MLB bullpen arms that the Cubs might target (especially LHRP Amir Garrett and RHRP Robert Stephenson) which would mean the Cubs don't need to waste payroll on the Cisheks, Strops, or Kintzlers of the baseball world.   

The problem with the Cubs right now is that when the Ricketts family bought the team from Sam Zell and then after Ricketts hired Epstein/Hoyer and they did a to-the-ground tear-down/rebuild, the idea was to win a World Series while having continued and sustained success without the need for another tear-down/rebuild. But in the process of winning the World Series in 2016 and then trying to stay in contention (at all costs) post-2016, the Cubs essentially junked the sustained success plan by trading away what was expected to be the next gen of Cubs stars (Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Isaac Paredes, etc) to acquire pieces that would help sustain only short-term success (effectively through 2020 or maybe 2021 and then the window slams shut). 

So the Cubs really need to change their approach ASAP and try to acquire younger players (at least one legit starting pitcher, a couple of relievers, maybe a CF who can hit lead-off, and a third-baseman) for the few trade chips they do have (mainly Bryant, but also Schwarber and maybe Happ) this coming off-season that would open the contention window a bit wider and hopefully help extend the path of success beyond 2021. 

Any truth to the rumor of Jed Hoyer to the Red Sox?

Maybe a team like ATL, too? They’ll be losing Donaldson, have an army of controllable young pitchers, some of whom have already gotten to MLB with varying degrees of success, and a good young 3B to maybe trade in Austin Riley. Maybe him and Fried? Or Bryse Wilson or Kyle Wright? Something like that?

why is darvish still pitching...

I liked the idea if not the result.

...and the cardinals have the lead.

sigh.

Another Joe Maddon baffling decision. I wonder if Wittenmyer will say it was Theos fault.

Edit: to stem the tide, he goes with Pedro Strop. Gotta give Pedro the chance to work his way back into postseason favor!

Do you know who was available to pitch in relief?

Down three in WC with 6 to play, if the answer isn’t “everyone” you’re doing it wrong.

cubs lose their 6th in a row, 5 in a row by 1 run.

MIL won and has a 4 game lead for the 2nd WC slot.

xrays negative on bryant's ankle.

Recent comments

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  • JustSayin' 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

     I hear you but welcome to the world of Theo.  The team is always a step or two away from the World Series in his mind, whether that is true or not.  Therefore, the thing to do on the margin is to trade top prospects or younger guys on the roster for that missing puzzle piece, not build for the future.  I had a front-row seat for this as a Red Sox fan.  If Pedro Martinez doesn't insist the Red Sox sign David Ortiz for table scraps and Chris Bryant isn't the no-brainer second pick in the draft, we'd all be wondering what happened to that Theo guy who was in the Red S

     

  • Cubster 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Shogo Akiyama is a lefty bat, career BA at.301 w/ Seibu Lions.  Recent OBPs: .419, .385, .398, .403 and .392. HR 20-15 in last 3 seasons Stolen bases, 12 in 2019, 18 in best season (2016). Defense supposedly plus-plus, 7-10 assists (10 in 2016). Clearly a leadoff hitter.

     

  • crunch 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    christian yelich committed internet homicide on yu darvish...

    https://twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1195462...

     

  • Charlie 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Little in the offseason could make me happier than the Cubs finding ways to retain the good MLB players who came up with them while remaining competitive. This Javy extension talk makes me much happier as a fan than the Bryant and Contreras trade talk.

     

  • crunch 3 days 1 min ago (view)

    "Javy Baez. The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up already has begun negotiations on a potential long-term extension with the Cubs, according to sources."

    also, some talk of being linked to shogo akiyama (CF, Japan, 32yo in April)

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs/2019/11/15/20966...

     

  • crunch 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.

    w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend).  braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.

     

  • crunch 4 days 20 hours ago (view)

    nice.

    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 23 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 

     

  • crunch 4 days 23 hours ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 4 min ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 

     

  • crunch 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28066390/there...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.

     

  • crunch 6 days 21 hours ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 6 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 6 days 21 hours ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 14 hours ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.