Cubs vs. Marlins: Series Thread (Games 70-72)
The Cubs escaped a rough series in New York with their first-place standing intact. For a change of pace, they'll take on the last place Marlins next. Don't let Miami's record fool you, though. The fish are not far behind the Cubs according to many offensive metrics, grade out slightly ahead in pitching, and are probably better defensively. Wins and losses are the final measure, of course, and the Cubs will have three chances to take home a "W" in this series. See below for the pitching matchups.
Game 70, Friday, June 18, 7:05 pm central
CHC: RHP Zach Davies (4-3, 4.01 ERA)
MIA: RHP Cody Poteet (2-2, 3.75 ERA) TBD, possibly RHP Zach Thompson (1-1, 2.25 ERA)
Davies has been good going back to the beginning of May and has made two consecutive quality, scoreless starts. Last time out he set a season high for strikeouts with six Ks against the Cardinals.
The Marlins announced Cody Poteet's return from the IL a few hours prior to the game. He hit the IL on June 4 with an MCL strain. He's made five starts in his first MLB season and gotten pretty solid results so far. His minor league numbers suggest he is a pitch-to-contact type, although he is getting almost eight strikeouts per nine innings so far at the major league level. He has a plus changeup to go with a slider, curve, and a 93-ish MPH fastball. He went 2.2 in his last start, allowing three earned runs on four walks and a homerun. The Cubs will be getting their first look on him.
The 27-year-old Thompson has made two starts for the Marlins in 2021. On June 12, he pitched five innings and allowed no earned runs to Atlanta. In the minors, he showed a plus slider and inconsistent command. He's worked mosty out of the bullpen since 2017. Everyone would be getting a first look at him, and Ross may choose to go for the platoon advantage against the 6'7" right-hander.
Game 71, Saturday, June 19, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Jake Arrieta (5-7, 5.14 ERA)
MIA: RHP Pablo López (2-4, 3.12 ERA)
Arrieta has had to struggle through many of his recent starts for a variety of reasons: a hand injury, food poisoning, poor command, and shaky defense. In his last start, he worked five innings but also allowed four earned runs and took the loss to the Cardinals, walking more batters than he struck out. One postiive for him lately is that he has improved his groundball rate, but he could certainly stand to provoke more soft contact.
López has so far improved on a breakout 2020 performance that saw him improve both his strikeout rate and ground ball percentage compare to his debut and sophomore seasons. In his last start, he struggled to follow up a 8-inning victory and was only able to go three innings while allowing four earned runs. He has reverse splits in 2021, but previously in his career lefties fared much better against him.
Game 72, Sunday, June 20, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Alec Mills (2-1, 6.11 ERA)
MIA: TBD, possibly LHP Trevor Rogers (7-3, 1.98 ERA)
Mills took a loss in his second start of the season on June 15, going 4.1 innings as a sub and allowing five earned runs despite six strikeouts. In his previous start, way back on April 13, he went four innings and allowed two earned runs. No Marlins batters have faced him at the MLB level--it's not hard to imagine that he might be able to keep some of these hitters off balance with his pitch mix.
Rogers labored through seven starts in his debut season with Miami, but he's taken a significant step forward in 2021. He's leaning a bit more heavily on his plus changeup and mixing in a middling slider with better results. He's also cut his walk rate by about a third, and his homeruns per fly ball are way down. He significantly underperformed his peripherals in 2020 and is outperforming them in 2021--but even if he finds his mean, he's looking like a decent MLB starter so far. He really hasn't had a bad start in 2021 so far. He's pitched at least five innings in all but his first start of the season and has allowed two or fewer earned runs in all but one start--when he allowed three earned runs. This will be his first time facing the Cubs.
tim815 47 min 39 sec ago (view)
On what days of the calendar do players get to decide if they're going to opt out of their contracts?
Australian football games are being played before empty stadiums. I doubt that's a conducive environment to opting out.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 55 min ago (view)
SheffieldCornelia 5 hours 1 min ago (view)
Hey all, just checking in to say that yesterday was a really sad but appreciative day in my household. It is still completely mystifying that the Cubs couldn't find a way to extend Rizzo and Javy especially, and there's still some hope here that one or both guys can come back next year along with a Contreras extension. While they were here, Rizzo, Javy and KB especially gave us so much as players and made the last half decade really special for Cubs fans. Thanks guys.
(Also, please let some of these prospects become the next Hendricks or Arrieta and not the next Mike Olt.)
Hagsag 5 hours 46 min ago (view)
Pay Willy now please!
crunch 8 hours 37 min ago (view)
mlb.com has already updated their "top 30" team prospect rankings post-trade deadline. https://www.mlb.com/prospects/cubs/
pete crow-armstrong #6 (mets)
alexander canario #7 (giants)
alexander vizcaino #8 (yanks)
kevin alcantara #11 (yanks)
caleb kilian #16 (giants)
greg deichmann #20 (A's)
i like caleb kilian more than the mlb.com ranking of #16. if he manages to finish the season strong he should have no problem working his way into the top-10.
Arizona Phil 10 hours 42 min ago (view)
Anderson Espinoza will get a 4th minor league option in 2023 and Alexander Canario will get a 4th minor league option in 2024 (if needed).
Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 3 min ago (view)
He looked really good. Rucker didn't look bad either
crunch 14 hours 14 min ago (view)
m.rodriguez throws 1ip 0h 0bb 2k, 11 pitches
hell of a debut.
crunch 15 hours 3 min ago (view)
already hit his 1st yankee homer, btw.
crunch 15 hours 5 min ago (view)
hey yo. hopefully the offseason and going into 2022 will be worth whatever the hell this is that happened today.
Jace 15 hours 16 min ago (view)
QuietMan 15 hours 56 min ago (view)
Maybe after he's done pitching for Team USA at The Olympics.
Sonicwind75 16 hours 7 min ago (view)
Maybe Cubs can counter by bringing Edwin Jackson back.
crunch 16 hours 24 min ago (view)
dbacks see the cubs making a serious tanking move and they have 5 players go on the COVID list.
hell of a counter-play dbacks...good job.
crunch 16 hours 49 min ago (view)
your new 2021 chicago cubs...day 1
ortega / contreras / happ / wisdom / bote / heyward / duffy / alcantara / arrieta
crunch 16 hours 52 min ago (view)
woo! go not-cubs!
break out a list of 17 year old highschool kids and college sophmores to mull over for the next 10 months!