Cubs Post-2019 Draft-Excluded Players

So with the Cubs selecting the contract of LHRP Danny Hultzen from AAA Iowa today, Hultzen becomes the Cubs first 2019 Draft-Excluded Player.  

In addition to being a Draft-Excluded Player (which limits what the Cubs can do with him in the off-season, especially after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft), Hultzen is also out of minor league options (so he can't be optioned to Iowa if he doesn't make the Cubs 2020 Opening Day 25-man roster), and he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted (because he has been outrighted previously in his career).

Cubs @ Brewers: Series Thread (Games 139-142)

The Cubs begin an eight-game road trip that pits them against the Brewers and Padres for four games each. Trailing in the division and fending off Wild Card hopefuls behind them, the Cubs will be feeling pressure to at least keep pace. Zobrist and Bote could see additional playing time with Javy and Bryant both nursing injuries. The Cubs enter the series 2.5 behind the Cards. See below for match-ups.

Business Trips

Odd that both the C-Cubs & I-Cubs are idle today.

The locals have punched their playoff ticket and begin a best-of-five series in Round Rock tomorrow night, albeit with a carcass of a roster now that fire marshals have revised MLB dugout capacities upward. Game three and any others required are slated for Des Moines over the weekend.

Cubs vs. Mariners: Lester vs. Hernandez (Game 138)

CHC (74-63): LHP Jon Lester (11-9, 4.36 ERA)
SEA (48-81): RHP Félix Hernández (1-4, 6.02 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Lester gave his team six innings of one-run baseball against the Mets in his final August start. Today, he and his supporting cast will go for a two-game sweep against the visiting Mariners. Kyle Seager with two homeruns off of the lefty, and Dee Gordon is 2-8. Most other Mariners have only a few at bats against the veteran.

Cubs vs. Mariners: Hendricks vs. Sheffield (Game 137)

CHC (73-63): RHP Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 3.47 ERA)
SEA (58-80): LHP Justus Sheffield (0-1, 7.94 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT

Kyle Hendricks toes the rubber and may have to tow the lagging Cubs offense toward a home victory in the series opener. He'll need to be sharper than his last start, in which he couldn't get out of the fifth and allowed six earned runs on eight hits including two homeruns. Current Mariners are 9-50 off of him with one extra base hit.

Cubs vs. Brewers: Series Thread (Games 134-136)

The Cubs greet the Brewers to Wrigley for a three game set. This series plus the 4-game set next weekend looked at one time like they would be a fight for the division lead, but with the Cubs on the heels of the first-place Cardinals they'll be looking to toss the Brewers clear out of the ring, narrowing the Royal Rumble that was the tight NL Central to a 1-on-1 grapple. The Brewers meanwhile will cling tightly to both their place in the division and their dwindling Wild Card aspirations. Read below to see which competitors will be starting in the series.

Cubs @ Mets: Lester vs. deGrom (Game 133)

CHC (71-61): LHP Jon Lester (10-9, 4.49 ERA)
NYM (67-66): RHP Jacob deGrom (8-7, 2.56 ERA)
First pitch 6:10pmCDT

That 10-7 win was one of the tensest games I can remember that included an early 10-1 lead. With that win in hand, the Cubs clinched the series and go today for a sweep of the Wild Card hopefuls in Flushing. It'll also be another shot for the Cubs to creep beyond 10 games over .500. Jon Lester sets himself to the task. Lester has gone through a rough August, squishing two decent starts between a trio of flops. Even the good starts were shaky, as his command left him to the tune of eight walks in those eleven innings. Rajai Davis has a .907 OPS against him in 52 at bats and should be part of the usual strategy to take advantage of Lester on the basepaths. Amed Rosario is 5-9 off the lefty.

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