If you read Mauricio's report on Shelby Miller, you should be fully aware of what to expect. Let's hope the Cubs do as well and take advantage as they send out Kyle Hendricks to counter as the Cubs take on the small-market Cardinals.
Here are some news and notes to guide us through...
- Kris Bryant is NOT coming up today as has been rumored on the internet. I actually talked about him yesterday with someone close to the situation and it never came up. In fact, much of the conversation centered on the opposite, that is that Bryant understands the situation and is fine with waiting until next season. Until then, he just plans on shoring up the holes in his game.
- Unfortunately, Anthony Rizzo won't be in the Cubs lineup either. He will miss his 3rd straight game with a bad back.
- Theo Epstein was on The Score 670 and talked about a number of things One of them was about acquiring an impact pitcher in the next 18-24 months but you knew that already. The other interesting tidbit was about Kyle Schwarber, whom one scout apparently said was as good and possibly better than Kris Bryant. Whaaa? I think that's a nice argument to have. Schwarber has actually out OBP'd and outslugged Bryant in his first pro season. Of course, Schwarber has a tall task to try and match Bryant's second season. Of more practical concern is the increasing likelihood that Schwarber can play catcher. I've mentioned recently that Schwarber's ability to control runners has improved and that his pop times have been in the 1.85-1.95 range. That's MLB quality. You may remember that Kevin Gallo scouted him for the Indians and gave us a fan-friendly version scouting report, Here is what he said about Schwarber's receiving skills at the time, "He shows good receiving skills and moves well behind the plate. He doesn't have a huge arm but makes up for it with a quick release. I think he could stick at catcher at first but would eventually have to move off of it." If Schwarber sticks at catcher, that can have a big impact on the Cubs future. They'll be able to squeeze in an extra LH bat and get great production from the catcher's spot. Schwarber is very much the type of hitter this front office wants in the lineup so they will do whatever they can to get him into the lineup, perhaps as soon as 2016.
- I also talked to a scout who wasn't quite as discouraged as many of us were with Jacob Turner's first Cubs start. He was impressed with the quality of his stuff, saying he had more movement on his fastball and a better breaking ball than he anticipated, even going so far as to say the Cubs may have another successful Jake Arrieta type reclamation project on their hands. He didn't say he had the same level of stuff necessarily, but that he saw some similarities and thinks the Cubs and Chris Bosio may have seen something they can fix.
- Coghlan LF
- Baez 2B
- Castro SS
- Valbuena 3B
- Soler RF
- Castillo C
- Alcantara CF
- Valaika 1B
- Hendricks P
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