sCrubs @ Cardinals: Series Thread (Game 160-162)
Welp, the Cubs were mathematically eliminated early in the last series and appeared to be completely broken in body and spirit thereafter. Perhaps they were reserving whatever fight is left in them for this final series against the Cards. The Cubs can still play spoiler to the team that swept them at home last weekend; the Cards lead the Brewers by only one game and could even fall behind the Nats in the Wild Card should the Cubs manage to play decent ball. Nothing will compensate for this team's horrendous couple of weeks, but any chance to scuff the Cards' boots is worthwhile. Read below for the match-ups.
Game 160, Friday, September 27, 7:15pmCDT
CHC: RHP Alec Mills (1-0, 2.90 ERA)
STL: RHP Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.45 ERA)
Darvish is done for the season and Alec Mills gets another chance to make an impression before the offseason. So far, he has looked like a candidate to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation or a place in the bullpen as long reliever and spot starter in 2019. He gave the Cubs 4.2 scoreless innings against the Cards last weekend and their best shot at a win in the series. Hopefully, there's more of that in the tank.
Hudson lasted only three innings and allowed three earned runs on four walks and three hits last time out. It was his only start against the Cubs.
Game 161, Saturday, September 28, 6:15pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.92 ERA)
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (3.98 ERA)
Hamels returns after a skipped start to make his likely last appearance with the Cubs. Things haven't been great for him in the second half, but prior to that he gave the Cubs two half seasons of essentially ace performance. It's a bummer that he won't be getting a Wrigley ovation. He's 1-1 in two starts against the Cards this year, allowing one unearned run and collecting fourteen strikeouts in 15 innings along the way.
Wainwright defeated the D-Back last time out, pitching five innings and allowing five earned runs in Arizona. Before that, he strung together four very strong starts and allowed only one earned run along the way. He's 0-2 in three starts against the Cubs this year.
Game 162, Sunday, September 29, 2:15pmCDT
The starters here will likely depend on whether the game matters for the standings. The Cubs should give Chatwood a start out of respect for the work he's done this season to remake himself as a useful reliever, but they'll use him earlier in the series if he helps their chances to take a chunk out of the Cards. Miles Mikolas should be available for this one, and the Cards may even start Flaherty if they are desperate to win the game, but the Cards can also send out Daniel Ponce de Leon if this one is moot.
crunch 10 hours 19 min ago (view)
semi-interesting winter league note...
trey mcnutt (yes, that guy) is having a hell of a winter league in mexico (one of the less talented winter leagues) so far as a closer. 15.2ip 8h 4bb 24k, 0.57 era.
giants signed him to a minor league deal a couple weeks ago. he never went anywhere. he's been consistently playing ball in the minors and indie league ball since he was last a noteworthy player. last season he played in the OAK minor league system. 30 years old now...
jdrnym 17 hours 16 min ago (view)
Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal. Wasn't his 2020 club only supposed to be on the hook for league minimum?
crunch 17 hours 53 min ago (view)
when he got to the mets he suddenly learned how to throw with control (small sample size etc). last year was not a fun bullpen year...
crunch 20 hours 9 min ago (view)
Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp. I appreciate the hell out of it. Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.
bradsbeard 21 hours 52 min ago (view)
Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!
Arizona Phil 22 hours 8 min ago (view)
Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.
I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter.
Arizona Phil 22 hours 12 min ago (view)
Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).
Arizona Phil 22 hours 12 min ago (view)
SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1).
For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster.
Arizona Phil 22 hours 25 min ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training.
Sonicwind75 23 hours 41 min ago (view)
AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information. How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced? With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there. What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher. Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t
bradsbeard 23 hours 42 min ago (view)
AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason
bradsbeard 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
They just signed this guy:
Hagsag 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.
Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).
Arizona Phil 2 days 17 hours ago (view)
A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.
Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.
Arizona Phil 2 days 17 hours ago (view)
The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers.