Cubs @ Diamondbacks: Series Thread (Games 91-93)

Just before kicking off the post-All Star portion of the season, the Cubs traded their starting left fielder for an advanced A-ball first base prospect. Pederson had not proven himself integral to what middling success the Cubs had managed so far this season, and the team could conceivably improve without him. However, the Cubs were rumored to be sellers going into the All-Star break and this move lends further support. They'll continue on, for now, with remaining core players like Javy, Rizzo, Bryant, and Contreras--but we'll be watching these games knowing any of those players could be making their last appearances in Cubs blue.

The current Cubs will be taking up bat and glove against D-Backs club with the worst record in the majors. Arizona enters the series second to last in the majors wRC+ and dead last in pitching WAR with a shocking 1.0 in fWAR--a team 5.48 ERA in the DH-less league will do that. Still, things won't necessarily be easygoing for the Cubs. See below for my best guess at pitching matchups. [Edit: my guesses were wrong.]

Game 91, Friday, July 16, 8:40 pm central

CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-4, 3.77 ERA)

ARZ: LHP Madison Bumgarner (4-5, 5.73 ERA)

Despite the Cubs' struggles of late, Hendricks continues to defend an undefeated streak going back to mid May. He earned a win against the Cardinals before the break, allowing two earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched.

Bumgarner has made three starts in a row in which he's allowed at least five earned runs, exiting his last start after only two innings pitched. He's a got a seven-inning no hitter under his belt, but things have not gone smoothly for the veteran lefty.

Gamey 92, Saturday, July 17, 3:10 pm central

CHC: RHP Adbert Alzolay (4-9, 4.66 ERA)

ARZ: TBD - RHP Zac Gallen (1-4, 4.17 ERA)

Alzolay's numbers were inflated slightly in June and early July, but he hasn't had many severe ups or downs this season. The area of greatest consistency for him has been homers--giving up a couple of them every game or two, that is. Like many other pitchers, his success hinges on keeping his misses out of the zone.

The D-Backs have not announced a starter for this game. Taylor Widener started for the D-Backs on July 9th but was optioned the next day. [Zac Gallen last started on July 2. He went two innings and allowed three earned runs. It was the weakest of his nine starts this season. This will be his first career start against the Cubs.]

Game 93, Sunday, July 18, 3:10 pm central

CHC: RHP Zach Davies (5-6, 4.37 ERA)

ARZ: TBD - [RHP Caleb Smith (2-6, 4.54 ERA)]

Davies took a loss against the Cardinals, exiting after 4.1 and allowing three earned runs. It sure would be nice if he found the feel for his changeup.

[Smith has 27 appearances, nine of them starts, in 2021. He last started on July 10 when he surrendered nine(!) runs in a single inning pitched. He had another rough start in the first week of July when he allowed five earned runs. In 6 June starts he held down a 2.87 ERA, but he had very similar peripherals.]


arrieta will not return when eligible saturday...not shocking news.

Price it costs to turn a die hard Cardinals fan in Drew Gray into a Cub $900,000.  I don't have that type of money to change my Cardinals fan wife to a Cubs one.

kimbrel with a 0.55 ERA and 0.65 WHIP in 32.2ip with 56 Ks

dude hasn't given up a run since may 23 (runner starting inning on 2nd, extras) and hasn't given up an earned run since may 15.

if the cubs blow this

Well with those 2 signings that puts them ahead $497,795.

I can't believe they wouldn't sign Daniel Avitia since they signed his older brother who shows like no upside other than defense away from GCU and convince his little bro to sign and pitch to him in the minors rather than at GCU.  So yeah that savings probably goes to Triandos and Avitia

d.maples expected to be back sometime this week

Because Dillon Maples began his Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment on 6/26, by rule he must be reinstated from the IL no later than 7/26, unless he aggravates his injury or sustains a different injury during the course of the rehab assignment.   

With one exception, the maximum number of days a pitcher can spend on a rehab assignment is 30 days, and it's 20 days for position players. The only exception is if a pitcher or position player is rehabbing after undergoing an elbow UCL transplant (TJS), in which case the rehab assignment can be extended up to an additional 30 days (allocated in increments of ten days).

A player on an MLB IL must consent to a Minor League Rehab Assignment, and he gets to choose the minor league affiliate to which he will be assigned. Also, the player can unilaterally terminate the rehab assignment at any time, in which case he must be reinstated from the IL, as long as the player is eligible to be reinstated.   

And RHRP Rowan Wick (on MLB 60-day IL with an oblique strain) has been sent on an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment at South Bend.

Wick is eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day IL, so he can decide when it's over and force the Cubs to reinstate him from the IL. However, nothing can prevent the Cubs from optioning him to the minors after he is reinstated, so (if he is smart) he should remain on the rehab assignment (and accrue MLB Service Time and get paid at the MLB rate) as long as possible and leave it up to the Cubs to decide when it's over. (Wick is on the bubble to be a Super Two for salary arbitration post-2021, so he will want to accrue as much MLB Service Time as possible over the last 2-1/2 months of the MLB regular season).  

park is like 99.9% cubs fans today.

it always gets a good cubs fan showing in ARZ, but today is off the hook slanted toward the cubs.

boog/sutcliffe is a lot smoother than jd/boog/sutcliffe.

it's not really that weird cuz boog/sut have done a ton of ESPN games together, but it's not like jd is tripping up anyone.  if anything, boog seems like the rusty cog when the trio is announcing.

dbacks pitching is the suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.

Nice - and only - ninth inning rally for the Cubs. And Kimbrel locks it down - also nice. 

if kimbrel doesn't bring 2022 hope in his eventual least "sometime in 2022" if not opening day battle...

hell, it better be REALLY good, if not.

cubs pick up 29 year old 1st baseman frank schwindel off waivers from the A's.

rizzo in the lineup and batting leadoff today.

Leadoff Rizzo is my jam. Just leave him unless and until he's traded.

2 men in scoring position with 1 out...bringing in a.morgan...out of everyone in the pen.

alright then. god.

so yeah, ARZ works a walk to load the bases.

then a grounder to 1st...force out at home...THEN force out at 1st because the runner didn't finish running to 1st.

this ARZ team is terrible.

3-2-1 double play.

kimbrel/ATL rumors getting hot.

Crunch: I only saw that from the fake MLB Trade Rumors twitter account. Have you seen it mentioned anywhere else?

it may have been others parroting it.  i heard nothing in hours following.

Not including the alotted $1,340,220 for Triandos the Cubs have an extra $869,460 extra draft pick money.  Assuming Triandos doesn't eat a lot of that $869,400 they still have a decent amount to go after the remaining handful of prep guys.

14th-rounder Frankie Scalzo signs w/@Cubs for $125k. Grand Canyon RHP, hit 97 mph w/fastball, posted 2.12 ERA in relief this spring. - Jim Callis

18th-rounder Dominic Hambley gets $200,000. 6-ft-2 HS RHP from British Columbia throws hard w/good breaking ball, control will need to improve. - Jonathan Mayo

I really enjoyed listening to this podcast with VP of Scouting, Dan Kantrovitz (on Ivy Futures Interviews with Greg Z):

If you're curious about the Cubs strategy coming into this year's draft, give it a listen. Really insightful and transparent!

he's one of the few high end talents that stuck around rather than jumping ship (mostly for promotions elsewhere), retiring, or straight up getting fired.

recent-ish hire, but still remained through the past 1.5 seasons of weird.

17th-round #MLBDraft pick, SS Christian Olivo, has signed with the #Cubs. - Savermetrics

15th-round #MLBDraft pick, 3B BJ Murray, has signed with the #Cubs. - Savermetrics

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  • Eric S 6 hours 48 min ago (view)

     Cubs were Nootbaar'ed to the tune of 12-4 in Game 2


  • Cubster 7 hours 49 min ago (view)

    With a Doubleheader loss, the Cubs are back on track for a better draft choice. Right now at 67 wins they pick #7, just ahead of KC and Minnesota who have 68-69 wins. 


  • crunch 9 hours 18 min ago (view)

    the shit sandwich that is zach davies is a 6 foot party sub.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 21 min ago (view)

    I am celebrating the day he signs with another team this offseason. I didn't know I could hate him more than I did when he was in Milwaukee but here we are!


  • crunch 9 hours 41 min ago (view)

    wisdom can hit some bombs when he does

    also davies still sucks.


  • tim815 10 hours 16 min ago (view)

    McAvene is struggling against hitters in Instructs. He's not ready for the AZ Fall League. I'd expect to see Juan Gamez otr Aneuris Rosario first. Vazquez, I agree with, entirely.


  • bradsbeard 12 hours 6 min ago (view)

    On the position player side, Amaya if he's healthy. Chase Strumpf makes a lot of sense (missed some time early and late, missed all of last year). Nelson Velazquez maybe as a Rule 5 guy if they're on the fence. Cam Balego and Andy Weber are two other candidates if healthy. Luis Vazquez could also use more upper level PAs and would make sense.

    Lots of potential pitchers. Ideally Marquez but not sure they'll let him pitch this year. McAvene is probably another one. Would be awesome if Kohl Franklin could participate. 


  • First.Pitch.120 13 hours 24 min ago (view)



  • Arizona Phil 17 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Cubs select contract of RHRP Jason Adam from AAA Iowa and he will be the "29th man" in today's DH with STL. Also,.C Robinson Chirinos to 10-day IL with oblique strain, and OF Greg Deichmann has been recalled from Iowa.  


  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 7 min ago (view)

    FP120: The Cubs have been working on pick-off plays, baserunning including rundown ("pickle") drills, amd bunt defense in pre-game and Camp Day instructional work, so it's kind of a "Point of Emphasis." Apparently it's still a work-in-progress for a lot of the guys.And it's not just pick-off plays, either. At least two or three guys have been picked-off in the first three games and there have been a couple of other baserunning gaffes as well. But that's what instructs is for, right?


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    So what's the deal with 5 pick off attempt errors in 3 games?


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Because the Cubs play only the Angels, A's, and Rockies in Instructs this year, I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a trade or two with one or more of those clubs, most especially the Angels, who might be interested in acquiring Kyle Hendricks (since they certainly can't do a rebuild with Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon on the roster). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    The pitching-starved Angels established an MLB (and probably Ripley's Believe It or Not) record by selecting - ONLY - pitchers in the 2021 draft. That's twenty pitchers. No position players. They signed 19 of the twenty, and five of them pitched in today's game (2021 15th round pick Glenn Albanese Jr started the game, followed by 18th round pick Nick Mondak, 7th round pick Ryan Costeiu, 8th round pick Nick Jones, and 16th round pick Nick Dufault). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Cubs 2020 4rh round draft pick 6'8 220+ LHSP Luke Little threw mainly a 93-97 FB with an occasional CV and CH mixed-in but pitched mostly from behind in the count, issuing two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a WP (and surrendering a towering three-run HR) in 2.1 IP of work, LHP Angel Rodriguez was able to throw strikes with a 90-91 MPH FB, CH, and CV mix, but was pounded to the tune of five singles, a double, and a triple in just 2.2 IP, Cubs 2021 14th round draft pick RHRP Frankie Scalzo featured a 93-95 MPH FB but sometimes hung his SL and was hit hard and allowed a HR and five sing


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    chris clarke could use the work.

    brennen davis...bryce ball and casey opitz, maybe.  *shrug*

    i'd like to see ethan roberts in the mix.


  • ggross 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Phil (or anyone else),

    Who are your guesses for Cubs in the Fall League this year?  When will the announcements be made?  Thanks!