Cubs @ Cardinals - Hendricks vs. Lyons; Game 25 Thread

If you have nothing good to say...

Kyle Hendricks vs. Tyler Lyons

#Fowler CF*Jay CF
*Rizzo 1B*Carpenter 3B
Bryant CFHolliday LF
Soler RF*Adams 1B
Castro SSPeralta SS
Lake RF*Heyward RF
Castillo CMolina C
Hendricks P*Wong 2B
Russell 2B#Lyons P

The Cubs took a 5-0 lead in the first, were up 5-4 by the end of the first, then got that up to 8-4 after their turn in the 6th. The rest was what felt like an inevitable Cardinals comeback and Cubs bullpen collapse and it was annoying as hell. Sadly, this 3-game losing streak feels like 10 by this point, so a win would be real nice tonight.

Game chat can be found in the upper menu bar.

Oh yeah, Cubs DL'd Chris Denorfia and sent down Gonzalez German. In their place, Cubs go with newly acquire Anthony Varvaro and old friend James Russell. Blake Parker was DFA'd to make room for southpaw Russell on the 40-man.





[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Because he has been outrighted previously in his career, Blake Parker is an Article XX-D player and so he has the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted.  

If he is outrighted, he can elect free-agency immediately, or he can defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. 

If he is outrighted and elects free-agency immediately, his contract is terminated and he would receive no termination pay. 

If he is outrighted and defers free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, he would be assigned outright to AAA Iowa, would continue to receive his 2015 salary (minor league split), and he would be able to file for free-agency beginning at 9 AM (Eastern) on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. 

However, if he is outrighted and defers free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, he would not be eligible to elect to be a free-agent if he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.   

That's all presuming he isn't traded, released, or claimed off waivers by another club.

One more thing to keep in mind about Parker being Designated for Assignment is that he is presently on the Iowa 7-day DL with an elbow issue, and injured players cannot be placed on assignment waivers during the MLB regular season until they are healthy enough to play and be reinstated from the DL. 

Maybe try Bryant in the #9 slot? Cubs knock around Martinez, and then can't touch a minor-league call-up. Sigh.

[ ]

In reply to by billybucks

There is a sadistic part of me that wants Bryant to go back to Iowa for a few weeks. No one is challenging him or whatever. He doesn't really get to hit ... He misses the fat pitches you could argue that he needs to get his timing back. And his defense could use a little work. Clear his brain of the injustice that was done to him by the Cubs' brass too.

Matheny and his Ken-doll postures and mega chested strut. Jesus there is a lot to hate about this team. If their fans weren't so classy they would really be annoying.

Wow, do you think that was a "he was in the neighborhood" call? I think Rizzo was still a half inch off the bag.

Man, Castro is pulling off the ball something awful. Somebody needs to get him to hit the ball to RF a few times. He is an automatic ground ball to short.

EJax has made it as obvious as he possibly can -- he can only pitch when it doesn't matter.

Losing streaks, particularly when the Cardinals are involved, really suck. Bryant + Soler = 2 HR in a combined 158 AB.

[ ]

In reply to by Old and Blue

Here's the positive part: if these guys really are the future and pan out - these early pummelings by a true championship caliber team can really recalibrate the level of focus and drive these guys will need to succeed in coming months and years. The intensity level is on a completely different plane and Joe can use that to say: here's where you guys need to be and want to be, if you've got anything else on your mind than winning now's the time to get rid of it because I need a new level of effort from you guys, Oh and the bullpen sucks. But they're not gonna just come in and be good. Look at the Nationals and KC and the Pirates and other teams that did massive rebuilds. It's a process. And they need to get spanked and learn from it.

[ ]

In reply to by Old and Blue

That's not really my point re:losing builds character. It's that now that the games matter it's a different ballgame. Adjusting to winning when it matters is something that has to be experienced. And also losing when you are supposed to compete, and re-igniting the competitive fire will often give teams an added motive. Look at the chip KC has on its shoulder. I'm saying a good manager takes these tough losses with a young team and reframes it. Or I guess he can just get mad at them or something. Or tell them they suck. It's a long season as we all know. The Mets were unbeatable now they are slumping. The Nats were automatic. The White Sox were gonna compete. The Giants were out of it 10 days ago. Blah blah blah. I'm just saying people are reactive. And these kids are adjusting to a lot. Plus when you lose 2 of 3 setup men you struggle. But the main thing is adjusting to day to day excellence at the big league level, and then a team like the Cardinals take it to a new level. It's educational if you want to be champs. Use it as fuel.

[ ]

In reply to by Carlito

The offense has actually been pretty good. It would have been nice to Rizzo keep the chains moving late in the game with the bases loaded last night with one of his typical at bats, but I guess the law of probabilities caught up with him at a bad time. Really, everything is moving along as most of us here had it mapped out. Ups and downs, kids, learning, some really good stuff, some bad. The middle relief has been a big drag. But like you say, long season.

Anthony Varvaro seems like a good gamble. Can't be any worse than things have been out of the pen. From 2011-2014 he had a 2.99 ERA and 1.204 WHIP with 7.3 SO/9 over 168 IP out of the pen between the Braves and Red Sox. He had only given up 1 run over his first 7.2 IP this year, but then gave up runs in his last 3 outings before being put on waivers. We'll see, probably tonight--hasn't pitched since last Tuesday.

[ ]

In reply to by WISCGRAD

Hopefully we will NOT see him tonight, as Lester is starting and that would mean he probably is having a bad game. Luckily, it seems like he is getting better with each outing. I sure hope Lester's much vaunted competitiveness rears its head tonight. Carlito is talking about character building. Winning tonight with a strong performance by Lester is character building.

Two points about the two recent disappointing but predictable outcomes. LaStella was supposed to be a Cardinal-like hitter, someone who could come through in late-and-close situations. (Compare him to Carpenter and Wong). That oblique strain did real harm to our lineup. Instead we have our most unCardinal-like hitter failing consistently in the clutch. He has many adherents on this blog and so goes largely unmentioned (save by billybucks), but the Cardinals know who he is. In the top of the 8th on Monday, with two out and the Cards up two, they walked Bryant and Montero to get to . . . you-know who. (I'd rather not say his name in case some GM is out there listening.) The walk to Montero was obviously intentional. We know that because the Card catcher set up outside the strike zone on four straight pitches. If you don't believe me, watch the Cardinal broadcast. LaStella will be back, but the other situation might not be resolved much before the trade deadline.

[ ]

In reply to by VirginiaPhil

LaStella was supposed to be a Cardinal-like hitter, someone who could come through in late-and-close situations. (Compare him to Carpenter and Wong). That oblique strain did real harm to our lineup.

that's right LaStella was acquired to be the linchpin for this offense

and those brilliant Cardinals got Coghlan and Rizzo, only to walk Bryant and Montero with no one on to face Castro. Damn geniuses.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

You don't have to be a genius to figure out where the weak link is right now. Why pitch to Montero when you can depend on the on-deck guy not to get one decent rip, and ultimately to tap it to the left side? Montero will provide a couple of scary swings-and-misses, at least. Watch the inning yourself, preferably while listening to the Cards' announcers discussing their team's strategy, and then tell me that they wanted any part of Montero, even with first base occupied. And it's not a linchpin that the Cubs need, they just need all hands contributing. The Cards tend to score in the late innings so you better do it, too. La Stella would keep the line moving.

[ ]

In reply to by VirginiaPhil

this may be one of the top 5 dumbest threads started on TCR in history...

Because before you backtrack, you literally said they walked Bryant and Montero to get to Castro. Now, I can totally see some reasoning on pitching around the left-handed Montero once Bryant reached, but to think they got 2 outs to start the inning and then brilliantly strategized that they should let 2 runners get on-base and take a chance on getting Castro is frankly dumb.

La Stella didn't have a job coming into spring training and at the moment he's not gonna have one when he gets back. He's pretty good at making contact for a team that doesn't make a lot, so he's a nice compliment. He doesn't keep anything moving though, cause you need to get on-base to do that.

[ ]

In reply to by VirginiaPhil

"where the weak link is right now" - that's the key. It doesn't make Castro a suck player. He's swinging at a lot of bad balls. Shrug. So is Soler. Good teams go for the jugular. I'd be pitching Castro this way, too. In two weeks, I might not. He's not a bad number 6 hitter at all, overall. He'll stop trying to pull everything soon enough. These things have a tendency to correct themselves over the course of the season. You are as aware of that as anyone. I'd pitch Soler down and away all day, at this point in time. Same general theme there. So what? He'll straighten out, too.

[ ]

In reply to by Old and Blue

The comparison is unfair to Soler, O&B, because this will be Castro's sixth season of 500+ PAs. And Soler only played in 163 games in the minors. When "C" does finally mature as a hitter--which is probably inevitable, and could be soon for all we know--he'll be a heck of a player, so there should be suitors in July.

[ ]

In reply to by VirginiaPhil

The comparison is fair because O&B seems (to me) to be making a point about short-term trends and not career development. Rizzo slumps, too (or has in the past). Bryant hasn't hit a homerun yet. Hard to believe Castro is going to maintain a 64.8% GB rate all year when his career average is 49.2% (still higher than I'd like to see, but certainly not a deal breaker). And Russell is having a good week, but he also has a 46.2% strikeout rate and a .458 BABIP and would probably still be in AAA if not for at least 3 guys in front of him (Alcantara, La Stella, Baez) struggling or on the DL.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

Right. And I'm not against Castro being traded or anything like that. I just would be concerned that because he is way much more maligned than he should be, his trade value is poop because other GMs are aware of his reputation around the league and fans. So even GMs that think he's a great value are going to not offer as much as Theo wants. And, truth is, nobody has yet stepped in to claim his job yet, not even Russell - although I'd be surprised if he doesn't eventually.

[ ]

In reply to by Old and Blue

"his trade value is poop" I don't think so, not at all. Durable shortstop who will give you 800 hits over the next five years, including a fair number of doubles and home runs. Just put him at short and forget about him--problem solved. He's an issue here because of Russell.

[ ]

In reply to by Dusty Baylor

"RBI leader" is misleading unless you mention his number of at bats (104) and the gaudy OBPs of the guys in front of him. Montero and Bryant are much better in terms of RBI percentage. Even Russell needs fewer at bats than Castro to get an RBI--and who does Russell get to drive in? Rizzo, with 21 runs scored, doesn't get to knock himself in unless he hits a home run. Cubs-Cards is a big stage that will only get bigger. In THIS series, Castro has driven in one of the thirteen Cub runs, in the first inning on Monday. In the fourth, he struck out with a runner at second. He grounded out to end the sixth with men on second and third. In the eighth, he grounded to short to end the inning, stranding a runner at second. (That was the at-bat that was preceded by two walks, the second of which had the Card announcers wondering out loud why their team would do that intentionally.) Then yesterday, in the fifth inning with the bags loaded and one out, he hit a double-play grounder that would have stranded two more RISPs except that the relay throw to first was high. To answer your question, yes, that's the guy.

[ ]

In reply to by VirginiaPhil

guess we can reset the "it's been X days since it's been Castro's fault" counter

RBI percentage in terms of opportunities is a much better stat though indeed.

Baseball Prospectus usually has it, but their site is down at the moment. I'm guessing with a .314 average with RISP, Castro is not the weak link on this team though.

wonder how many innings j.lester will get before he's removed after 90-ish pitches...or when the starters will be allowed to pitch at least 100. i would say 110+, but that's just madness based on what's gone on so far. we have an overworked pen that's been the focus of call-ups and starters that get pulled before they get close to 100 pitches. even jake "the only guy trusted with 100+ so far" arietta didn't get a chance to put in 100+ his last time out.

old Cub friend Justin Bour has taken over for Michael Morse at 1b for Marlins (at least for this series).

8/17 with a HR and a 2B to start off the season.

in good news, Cubs do lead the wild card race

bad news, 6.5 back of Cardinals already and Lynn has been awesome this year.

@CarrieMuskat #Cubs lineup: Fowler CF, Coghlan LF, Riz 1B, Bryant 3B, Soler RF, Castro SS, Ross C, Lester P, Russell 2B

[ ]

In reply to by Simba63

offense hasn't been the problem the last 2 days or most of the season

regardless, everyone should have been expecting inconsistency from the bats, it's what happens with most young lineups. The bullpen has blown at least 5 games (feels like more), can't expect perfection, but should expect better.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

Agreed. The only time i became totally frustrated with the offense was the Brewers series and the last road game before. Three straight games where they scored 1 run and Sunday with the dropped pop-ups that scored runs. They are lucky they aren't in the midst of a 6 game losing streak.

Cards lineup

Bourjos CF Carpenter 3B Holliday LF Reynolds 1B Peralta SS Molina C Heyward RF Kozma 2B Lynn RHP

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus two players are on 60-DAY IL   

32 players
are on the MLB ACTIVE LIST (26-man limit in effect on MLB Opening Day)

17 players signed to minor league contracts are Spring Training NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

Last updated 3-18-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Brad Boxberger
Michael Fulmer
Kyle Hendricks
* Brandon Hughes
Julian Merryweather
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

* Ryan Borucki  
Nick Burdi 
Tyler Duffey 
* Roenis Elias  
* Anthony Kay  
Mark Leiter Jr 
* Brendon Little  
Vinny Nittoli 
Manuel Rodriguez 
Cam Sanders 

* Tucker Barnhart 
Yan Gomes

* Dom Nunez  
Luis Torrens 

Nico Hoerner
* Eric Hosmer
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
* Edwin Rios
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

# Sergio Alcantara 
David Bote 
* Matt Mervis  

* Cody Bellinger 
# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez

Ben DeLuzio 
* Mike Tauchman   

Keven Alcantara, OF 
Miguel Amaya, C 
Ben Brown, P 
Alexander Canario, OF 
Brennen Davis, OF 
Jeremiah Estrada, P 
Ryan Jensen, P 
Caleb Kilian, P 

60-DAY IL: 2 
Codi Heuer, P 
Ethan Roberts, P

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents