NLDS Roster announced

NLDS Roster announced



The absence of Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon comes as a bit of a surprise, and Justin Wilson in the bullpen understandably might make some of us nervous. He has shown that he is capable of clean outings in the closing weeks of the regular season, and Joe Maddon clearly has a lot of faith in him. My hope is that he gets a few situational looks rather than whole innings with both Brian Duensing and Mike Montgomery available.

Here it is:



And here's the Nationals roster:


Filed under: Postseason 2017

Tags: NLDS, Postseason 2017


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  • Wow justin wilson?!? this is a never ending nightmare he better not enter a game unless the cubs are down 8+ runs

  • In reply to bolla:

    No, I think he's there to face Murphy. His numbers facing him are outstanding.

  • In reply to TC154:

    For me any numbers wilson has prior to the cubs are irrelevant.He's been a train wreck on the cubs.He had one appearance vs the nationals in august and was awful like always

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    In reply to bolla:

    [\commence sarcasm] He has had a 1.8 ERA and only given up 1 run in his last 7 appearances. Any numbers he had before that since being acquired by the Cubs are irrelevant. He's been lights out since then [\sarcasm over]

    I think Maddon wants as many LHP as he can get plausibly on the roster to allow a lot of mix-and-match situations.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Joel has it right, JW will not likely be used like during the regular season, but they clearly want LHP in the bullpen to neutralize some of the Nats biggest weapons including Lind PH.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Years of effectiveness is "irrelevant" because he had a few bad outings with a new team? Let me ponder that a moment...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Few bad outings? He has 5.09 era,2.094 whip has given just as many hits and more walks in half the innings on the cubs.That's flat out awful lol @ a few bad outings.

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    In reply to bolla:

    News flash, bullpen pitchers go through rough patches.

    For reference we had another guy that, in June and July had a stretch where he gave up 14 H and 10 BB over a little under 15 innings. Granted that was better than Wilson, but this is also the guy we are planning on handing the ball to in high leverage situations, often closing out the game. And many people are insisting we give this guy a multi-year deal worth a great deal more than the Cubs will pay Wilson in arbitration. His FIP is still solid at 3.72 and he has been victimized by a likely unsustainable .391 BABIP.

  • Yeah, like 0-6 with 3 Ks, I think

  • Slightly surprised by no Rondon. But the extra lefty makes sense against the Nats

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Agreed - if the Nats have a weakness now that they have shored up their bullpen, it's that lefties have a statistical advantage over them.

    Also not surprised that Lackey was left on the roster. He ended the season very well, and is probably there as insurance in case Arrieta cannot go.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Lackey is on the roster. No one is saying it, but I think he's insurance for Jake if he has any issues.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    No one from the Cubs is saying it. They are professionals with filters and restrictions. We are not bound by such silly rules, so we are all saying it. :)

    Your point is well taken. It's still within the realm of possibility Lackey starts game 4, but most likely will be used (if needed) to go multiple innings in case of a short start or extra-inning game.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Maybe it is as simple as he is one of the team's 11 best pitchers

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Me, too. Maybe the rest will pay off deeper in the playoffs?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    That's a good point (I assume you mean the rest for Rondon).
    He could very well be added to the NLCS roster if we make it. LA is notoriously susceptible to LH pitching, though less so this year than last. I haven't taken time to see how we match up against AZ (let's get there first). There is also the strong possibility of adding an extra arm in a 7-game series.

  • Meant to include this in the original post, but Lackey's presence on the roster is very telling. Watch for a piggyback in Arrieta's start.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    we might also see Lackey out of the pen?

  • In reply to Skidoorunner:

    At least I think I recall hearing that last week during one of the games.

  • In reply to Skidoorunner:

    That is why he is on the roster while Rondon & Grimm are not

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    That makes sense, but I didn't think with the both Arrieta and Lester being question marks, no to mention his own recent performance, that Lackey wasn't going to make the roster. I would have been shocked if he hadn't actually.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Yeah, I think they are protecting themselves in case Arrieta struggles while he is out there. Arrieta has said he isn't 100%

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I can see the rationale. It will feel good if a starter can't go deep into the game to have another guy able to pitch multiple innings. While the last couple of years have showcased the "shut-down" bullpen guy this postseason has seen its share of "stop the bleeding" bullpen guys. My one hesitation of the "Lackey can cover for Arrieta if he is hurt" is, as one commenter put it, the Cubs already have a long-reliever in Montgomery. And if you feel the need to have 2 long relievers for a best of 5 series it looks like you don't like your odds very much.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I simply don't buy that argument Joel. Montgomery is most certainly not a long man only, he is a Swiss Army knife that can be used in a dozen different ways. Lackey is the one long man for this series, saying Monty is a long man is too way undersell his value on this team.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I don't think they want to waste Monty in a long relief situation. I think they plan to use Monty in as many LIR situations as needed. If you need him to go 3+ innings in any game then he is burned for the rest of the series. If it comes to a decisive game 5, I want Monty available.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Mark Gonzales‏ @MDGonzales

    Arrieta said he's fine, Maddon concurred

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    That's definitely good news!

  • I also like having Lackey in case it becomes a marathon game going in the extras saves Cubs from burning through the pen.

  • I don't think that there was any serious thought about leaving Lackey off the post season roster(2nd half). He comes up big when we need him the most. Also, he is one of the veteran leaders in the clubhouse.

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    Just going to do a quick depth chart for this series now that the roster is set. I like how Maddon constructs his roster because it is evident he is likely to use EVERYONE to get the best match-ups he can. The flexibility of these guys is REALLY nice. Here it goes (in no particular order, especially for back-ups):
    C: Contreras, Avila* (maybe Schwarber in an emergency/catastrophe)
    1B: Rizzo*, Bryant, Contreras, Baez
    2B: Baez, Zobrist+, Happ+, La Stella*
    SS: Russell, Baez
    3B: Bryant, Baez, Zobrist+, Happ+
    LF: Schwarber, Zobrist+, Happ+, Bryant, Almora, Jay*, Martin*, Bryant
    CF: Almora, Jay*, Martin*, Heyward*, Happ
    RF: Heyward*, Jay*, Zobrist+, Martin*, Happ+, Bryant

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Somehow missed that Schwarber bats LH. You could actually have s a decent team batting as many LHB as possible:
    Jay LF
    Bryant 3B
    Rizzo 1B
    Avila C
    Zobrist 2B
    Russell SS
    Heyward RF
    Martin CF

    And still have Schwarber, Happ, and La Stella off the bench or sub them in as you see fit into this line-up.

    Then you could have a team fielding almost all RHB and be a legit line-up.
    Zobrist LF
    Bryant 3B
    Rizzo 1B
    Contreras C
    Baez 2B
    Russell SS
    Almora CF
    Heyward RF

    Obviously the best would be a mix of RHB an LHB and these line-ups aren't likely to win a post-season series, but they could very well win a game against a pitcher who has extreme platoon splits. And not every team can field a decent line-up using almost all one side of the plate.

  • Not surprised by this roster, except maybe the inclusion of Martin. I just don't think he will have an impact on this series. But Rondon and Grimm were not very good this year, and it does seem that having extra BP lefties is important against the Nationals, with their dangerous LH bats.

    I think this series will be a nail-biter, including the games. It will be the closest played "DS" series this year. Should be fun! Let's go Cubs!!

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    In reply to HefCA:

    I think it is the most evenly matched of the series so I think it will go at least 4-5 games.

    I am not crazy about having Martin on the roster. But weird things happen in the post-season and it is not uncommon for a guy with pedestrian stats in the regular season to suddenly "go off" in the post season. Personally, I think the Cubs have enough OF depth and LHB that I would rather that spot to have gone to someone able to help the team more. Personally, I would prefer Rondon. But that is why I am not the manager.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I actually really like Martin in there. I've been impressed watching his defense, especially his howitzer of an arm. I don't expect anything from him offensively. He's just not a major league hitter at this point. But if Jason Heyward needs to be pinch hit for in the 5th or 6th inning, you pop Martin in RF and you don't lose a step.

  • Who starts tonite? I say
    LF - Scwarber
    CF - Jay
    RF - Heyward
    3B - Bryant
    SS - Russell
    2B - Zo
    1B - Rizzo
    C - Contreras

    You can make a case for Javy at 2B, but Zo has all of that big game experience. Kind of want to see him in game 1.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I've heard Maddon say that now is the time for simplicity when it comes to lineup construction. I think Baez starts at 2B tonight, and probably every game this postseason. When every game is "must-win", Maddon tends to lean toward run prevention.

    Joe was also asked about the difference in his lineup when it was announced that Strasburg would go instead of Scherzer. Without naming names, of course, he said there was one change he would make. Heyward has hit Strasburg very well, so he starts. The only options, IMO, are LF and CF. We want Schwarber's bat, but Joe may prefer Zobrist's experience. That's a toss-up. I also read something, and can't remember details, about how they feel Strasburg is the type of RHP that Almora may fare well against. Almora in CF is my surprise pick.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Good points. Javy's D is valuable, and I think he can hit Strasburg, too. Scherzer, on the other hand, would probably handle Javy very easily. It is a tough decision to choose 2 out of Schwarber, Javy, and Zo, but it will come down to that methinks. Jay has been Fowler 2.0 down the stretch for the Cubs. There is no way he won't be leading off in this game, and playing CF.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Javy also has big game experience--and he did OK (;-)!! for the Cubs last postseason.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    You're absolutely right! NLCS MVP last year is a nice endorsement. But against a tough RH pitcher like Strasburg, I still think the slight edge goes to Zo at 2B. You can always move Zo to LF, keep Javy at 2B, and get both in the lineup. But that means Scwarber sits. Do you really want him on the bench for the biggest game of the year so far? I don't. But man, it's a tough decision. You can make a case for Almora over Jay in CF, and what about Happ also who is very good against RH pitchers? Tough to decide. But I would go with Jay, Schwarbs, Zo, in CF, LF, and 2B for this game.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Righties hit Strasburg a little better than lefties. Only slightly better, but still better (Strasburg actually handles both very well). With the contact specialist Hendricks on the mound, I'd look for Baez to start tonight.
    Guarantee he starts tomorrow against Gonzalez, and with Turner stealing against Lester (need those Javy tags).

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I can't argue with your reasoning here about why Baez should start. In fact, I'm starting to lean Jay (CF), Schwarber (LF), and Baez (2B), LOL!
    Zo has been a kind of "comfort food" for Joe, though, if you know what I mean. It will be interesting to see how it plays. I think all 4 of these guys could potentially have a big game tonite, by the way.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Not all four combined, Strasburg is too good, but any one of these four could be a huge plus in this game.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Totally agree, Kramerica. With Hendricks pitching and his GB tendencies, Baez starts at 2B.

    One thing that I have not seen anyone mention, is the severe difference in defense between our Cubs and WAS. The Cubs ranked 5th with +30 DRS, while WAS ranked 24th with -37 DRS. I have a feeling that defense will be the reason the Cubs win this series.

    Go Cubs!!!

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    That's one thing I'm really looking forward to in a big moment in this series: Turner vs. Contreras/Baez.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'd almost invite him to try and run. Good money is on at least one pickoff for Hendricks in this series.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Good problems to have! If you combine my lock (Javy at 2B) with your lock (Jay in CF/lead-off), I think that makes it more likely Schwarber starts in LF over Zobrist. I do believe Maddon only wants the professional AB's of Zobrist or Jay out of the lead-off spot, so every game will probably start with one of those two in the starting lineup.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Zo can start in RF, guys

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Good point, but Heyward hasn't been benched for any big games down the stretch, as far as I know, so the MO says Heyward will play in RF. Having a GG there and his improved offense in September is probably enough to start him tonite.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Heyward is 15-37 (.405) with a HR against Strasburg, so I think he starts there tonight. Zobrist can play RF, and I believe Maddon wants one of Jay/Zobrist in the leadoff spot, so we could see him start there with Almora in CF at some point, which would allow Happ or Schwarber in LF.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    This discussion reminds me of setting my FF lineup, and trying to choose my Flex position for a given week ;-). The Cubs have too many good players for 8 positions. What a nice problem to have. I'll let Joe and his coaches decide. It requires real professionals.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I think Baez starts at 2b.

    I'd rather have Schwarber start in left but I think Maddon wants Zobrist in the lineup

  • FEMA contacted Maddon and pleaded with him to put Lackey on the roster. They said they couldn't handle another cat-5 storm this season. ;-)

  • Just wanted to throw in the 10/3/17 (pre-WC Game) ratings from
    All ratings are recalculated after each game.
    Compiled by Nate Silver (formerly of BaseballProspectus).

    538 Win World Starting Pitcher
    Rating Series Quality Adjustment*

    CLV 1604 27% 71
    LAD 1564 18% 127
    HOU 1569 15% 125
    WAS 1551 11% 133
    CHN 1559 10% 73
    BOS 1553 7% 59
    NYY 1561 6% 62
    AZD 1539 3% 54
    COL 1509 1% 69
    MIN 1512 1% 73

    *Calculated by multiplying “Adjustment” of Pitchers
    Ranked 1 & 2 (x2 for 2 games) and adding
    Pitcher 3 & 4 for each team; e.g. for Cubs,
    22x2 + 15x2 + 6 - 7 = 73

    Individual teams follow.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Score Adjustment to
    team rating

    CLV Kluber 66.5 +46
    Carrasco 58.3 +8
    Bauer 53.0 -17
    Salazar 52.4 -20
    Tomlin 50.0 -31

    LAD Kershaw 60.2 +37
    Hill 56.4 +19
    Darvish 54.8 +12
    Wood 52.9 +3
    Stripling 49.7 -12
    Maeda 49.5 -13
    Ryu 47.9 -21

    HOU Verlander 60.9 +42
    Keuchel 55.1 +15
    Morton 53.2 +6
    McHugh 53.0 +5
    Pecock 52.3 +2
    McCullers 51.7 -1

    WAS Scherzer 61.1 +37
    Strasburg 60.8 +35
    Gonzalez 53.8 +3
    Roark 50.3 -14
    Cole 47.3 -28
    Jackson 41.3 -56

    CHN Hendricks 56.9 +22
    Quintana 55.3 +15
    Arrieta 53.4 +6
    Lester 50.8 -7
    Lackey 50.7 -7
    Montgomery 50.0 -10

    BOS Sale 60.8 +37
    Pomeranz 53.6 +3
    Rodriguez 52.4 -2
    Fister 48.8 -19
    Porcello 48.4 -21
    Velazquez 46.9 -28

    NYY Severino 58.2 +24
    Tanaka 54.5 +7
    Sabathia 53.1 +0
    Montgomery 53.0 +0
    Gray 52.0 -5
    Garcia 47.4 -26

    AZD Greinke 55.8 +19
    Ray 54.2 +11
    Godley 51.9 +0
    Walker 50.5 -6
    Corbin 49.0 -13
    Shipley 43.8 -38

    COL Gray 55.8 +23
    Anderson 54.0 +14
    Bettis 50.7 -2
    Chatwood 50.4 -3
    Marquez 50.1 -4

    MIN Santana 54.2 +29
    Berrios 49.3 +6
    Gibson 48.7 +3
    Mejia 48.1 +0
    Siegers 47.5 -3
    Colon 43.0 -24

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Quick observations:

    1) HOU's acquisition of Verlander may be THE
    difference maker for WS win. It adds 76 points
    to the HOU team rating.
    2) WAS will be tough (which we already know). If
    we come home with a split that would be
    3) Not in the data above, but according to 538,
    home field advantage is roughly equal to
    pitching advantage, which works significantly
    against the Cubs.
    4) CLV “Achilles Heel” is SP after Kluber.
    5) Scherzer’s possible injury is HUGE. Without
    him, WAS team rating drops from 133 to 65.
    6) Baseball will baseball—in last night’s AL Wild
    Card game, Severino and Santana lasted a
    combined total of 2.1 innings! My guess is
    that experience and fatigue played a
    major role, esp. for Severino. The Cub
    pitchers will have a significant edge in
    those two areas.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Sorry my beautiful formatting was lost. The last 3 columns are 1) 538 Team Rating, 2) WS Win Probability, 3) SP Quality

  • Disappointed with the decision to put Justin Wilson on the roster. If they had not trade for him he would not have been on the playoff roster going by how he has performed! But they wanted to save face on their investment. Rondon should have made it over him. Hopefully Wilson is not used in high leverage situations.

  • In reply to larry the cubs fan:

    What has this organization ever done to insinuate to you that they'd prioritize saving face? Three of Wilson's last four outings were spotless, and he struck out the side in 2 of them. He throws 97 from the left side, and the Nats' 2 best hitters are left-handed. Rondon has been terrible this year until very recently, when he came back from a shoulder injury. And he's redundant, with the presence of Strop and Edwards.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I am not bashing the organization. this is the best cubs management team I have seen since I have been a cubs fan . my comments was more about how Justin Wilson has struggle for the most part since he has been here. And more about how rondon has been for the most part a good pictcher In a cubs uniform. And his last tree outing was hitting 99mph on the gun. I understand the decision if you wanted three left handers in the pen And Wilson is a power left which is rear. I just hope its Montgomery who is on the mound if you need to get Murphy or Harper out.

  • In reply to larry the cubs fan:

    I think it's a valid gripe, really. Both Wilson and Rondon have their warts, and both have had their moments of dominance lately. I think one thing we can definitely rule out though, is the Cubs making a move to save face. Completely not their MO.

  • In reply to larry the cubs fan:

    I have to respectfully and strongly disagree. There is no possible way this FO would intentionally put the team at a competitive disadvantag in a postseason series to try to "save face".

  • Not sure I get why Martin is on the roster. I know he plays good defense but still. He can't hit a lick. I would of rather had Rondon on the roster myself.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    If Martin steals a run with his speed a single time during the series, it could prove pivotal. Pinch running for a slow guy on 2B late in a game could make all the difference in the world.

  • In reply to Glen Krisch:

    That's true, I thought about that before my post. Hope you're right.

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    In reply to Glen Krisch:

    That is possible. But it is equally likely that having an offensive threat would lead to more runs than a defensive replacement/pinch-runner. If we are going to go a long way into hypotheticals we can justify the presence of ANYONE on the post-season roster. To my mind while he is a good defender the Cubs can already field a pretty solid OF defense without him and that spot could be used for someone else able to contribute on offense. In fact, a single pinch-hit single driving in 2 runs could mean as much or more and is more likely than a defensive run saved or scoring as a pinch-runner on a play that someone else on the team couldn't have also scored in a short-series

  • In reply to Glen Krisch:

    Maddon is not a big base stealing type mgr

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    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I never said anything about actually stealing a base. I meant "score a run that anyone else would be too slow to score."

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    No but he does like to have a speedy runner off the bench. It’s not only basesteeling but taking an extra base too.
    He is also a plus defender. An outfield, late in a game, of Martin, Almora and Heyward is as good as any in baseball.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Let’s also hope that Maddon Manages his pitching staff a bit more effectively than he did last post season. He also needs to bring his “A” game.

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    You guys all know why Justin Wilson is in the pen and on the roster.

    Theo 2nd big move was to get Wilson, no way are they going to admit they made a mistake and leave him off. I think they rather have in the pen for mop up duty or not use him unless absolutely necessary then leave him off. With the Heckyl Jeckyl nature of Grimm and Rondon, can we really complain too much?

  • This front office brought the first world series to the Cubs in more than 100 years. I don't think they care in the slightest if a handful of fans think they made one bad trade.

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