Cubs at Padres Series Preview (9/9-9/12)

The walking wounded that is the Chicago Cubs try to stop their three game road losing streak on the West Coast tonight. The Cubs are now without Craig Kimbrel, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, and a partridge in a pear tree. Kris Bryant has received a cortisone injection in his knee and sits for at least tonight. The upside to this situation is that the Cubs brain trust has grown desperate enough to ask their closest top position prospect to save the season.

Nico Hoerner provides a lot of excitement to a team that has felt flat. The Padres come into to the series with the mirror image of the Cubs. The Northside nine cannot leave San Diego with the same situation, but it is hardly an easy task to win on the West Coast. The Padres despite being out of the postseason have not packed it in for the season. A number of players are vying for spots in 2020 on the roster, and there is a lot of young talent all around the diamond.

The Cubs starters have struggled largely the past couple of turns through the rotation, but perhaps spacious Petco Park might be just the fix for them. Given the bullpen issues caused by the absence of Kimbrel, the Cubs will need them to pitch better. The offense will be facing mostly arms that they haven't seen before. That doesn't usually bode well, and puts even more pressure on the Professor to twirl a gem tonight.


Monday: 9:10 PM CT on WGN/670AM

Tuesday: 9:10 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago+/670AM

Wednesday: 9:10 PM CT on WLS/670AM

Thursday: 2:40 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM



1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
2. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Victor Caratini (S) C
7. Jason Heyward (L) CF
8. David Bote (R) 3B


1. Greg Garcia (L) 2B
2. Nick Martini (L) LF
3. Manny Machado (R) 3B
4. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
5. Wil Myers (R) CF
6. Josh Naylor (L) RF
7. Austin Hedges (R) C
8. Luis Urias (R) SS
9. Cal Quantrill (L) P

Bullpen Usage

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers


Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Cal Quantrill: Cal Quantrill has thrown 1,580 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2017 and 2019, all of them occuring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Sinker (94mph), Slider (87mph) and Fourseam Fastball (95mph), also mixing in a Change (85mph). He also rarely throws a Curve (79mph).

His sinker has well above average velo, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His slider is a prototypical pitch with few remarkable qualities. His fourseam fastball results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has slightly above average velo. His change has surprising cut action and has a lot of backspin. His curve is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, has primarily 12-6 movement, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has little depth.

Ronald Bolanos: N/A

Chris Paddack: Chris Paddack has thrown 2,151 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph) and Change (85mph), also mixing in a Curve (76mph).

His fourseam fastball generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has slightly above average velo and has some added backspin. His change results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His curve generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' curves, has a sharp downward bite, has primarily 12-6 movement, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has slightly below average velo.

Dinelson Lamet: Dinelson Lamet has thrown 2,820 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2017 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Slider (86mph) and Fourseam Fastball (96mph), also mixing in a Sinker (96mph). He also rarely throws a Change (92mph).

His slider generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders, has short glove-side cut and has some two-plane movement. His fourseam fastball results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has well above average velo and has slightly less natural movement than typical. His sinker is blazing fast, has less armside run than typical, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His change (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 14 of them in 2019) is thrown extremely hard, generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' changeups, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups, has a lot of backspin and has slight armside fade.



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  • fb_avatar

    Would love to see Nico go off since no one that much scouting on him...time will tell!

  • dabs gave a tease, but there is a lot of Cubs news today. I'll begin with the big one.

    Javy is out for the regular season. His evaluation with a hand specialist early today revealed no significant structural damage, but enough to keep him out. The Cubs were careful to say that he "may" be able to play when we are deep into the playoffs. More time to heal, of course. We have been a .500 team with Javy, and we're supposed to be better than that without him? Go on a run and overtake everyone without our leader and best player? Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

    KB opened up this afternoon about what he has been trying to play through. He had a cortisone shot in his knee yesterday and is a possibility tomorrow. He admitted that he is as disappointed as anyone, and that him playing at 60-70% is a "disservice" to his teammates and fans. But the team is broke. He hinted that he shouldn't be playing, he should shut it down for the long-term benefit, but there is no one else. He said he took the cortisone shot to be able to continue to play for a last-ditch stretch run.

    I do believe Javy's replacement is officially in the concussion protocol. He has traveled with the team, and is meeting with a specialist on the Padres medical staff for further evaluation. It's very possible that Javy's replacement is placed on the 7-day concussion list.

    Adbert Alzolay was optioned today. He has been hindered by injuries the past couple seasons, and has doubled his innings this year over last. No hints of an injury, just consensus that the coaches are comfortable with his innings load this season and are comfortable shutting him down now..

    Norwood has been recalled and added to the pen.

    Lots of Cubs fans complaining about Willson not being in the lineup, again. Willson is still hurt. He was rushed back out of desperation. Just because you are no longer on the IL doesn't mean your body has completely healed.

    And, finally, Nico! I just saw him taking batting practice. He lashed several hard line-drives and joined his new teammates behind the cage. Cool as a cucumber. He may not be as far along in his development as we would like for him to be, but he will not be overwhelmed. He has his head on right. Cubmitted suggested Peter Gabriel's "Kiko" as a walk-up song. That is deep and inventive, but probably too deep for fun. I've had another idea, not only a song but a possible nickname. Nico isn't loud or powerful, he doesn't make a scene but makes his presence known. I won't give it up just yet, I'll let Nico make a smooooth play...

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Thanks BP, but just one quick note about Alzolay. He was sent to South Bend which is the only affiliate still playing. That would make it seem unlikely that they are just shutting him down at this point. It looks more like trying to find him innings outside of the big leagues to my eye.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    That's the first I've heard of that. All the beat writers said it was an innings limit. Like, all of them, within 5 minutes of each other.

    I hope he goes down and helps them bring it home.

    I actually thought about that earlier today. I haven't thought it through, I'm sure there are reasons why it wouldn't work, but when a AAA minor-league affiliate like Iowa is knocked out and a low-A team like South Bend is still playing, why not load the roster?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I’m not a doctor and never broke my thumb, but why couldn’t Javy be used as a pinch runner? Will his hand be casted or will he have a brace? Is there too much risk to further injure his thumb if he were to pinch run.

  • In reply to stix:

    I'm honestly thinking of this on the fly. I guess with expanded rosters he wouldn't have to be IL'd, right? So he would still be available. My brain tells me it's too much of a risk. He goes all out. How much better is he as a pinch-runner than, say, Happ? A lot better, I know, but my guess is it's too much of a risk for the miniscule benefit.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Thanks. Based on everything I read it seems they don’t expect him to play until Oct at the best but wondered about pinchrunning if they ran out of alternatives.

  • In reply to stix:

    I'm no doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once a long time ago...

    Didn't he hurt/break it sliding into a base? I don't think I want Javy running bases and risking making that injury even worse. He used to wear the weird sleeve that's supposed to help prevent the hand injury, but I haven't noticed him wearing it at all lately.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Good point.

    Nearly every injury he has had in his career has been on his hands from sliding. Playing too hard. No need to push it now.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I am seeing that from the beats now, but I am perplexed why he was sent to the one other team still playing then if the plan is to just shut him down.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    I'm not as familiar with the roster rules of the minor leagues as I am with the majors. I can't see any reason to send him to South Bend except to use him.

    Maybe a ringer, just in case? I honestly don't know.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yeah there must be some reason for doing it this way, and perhaps there is some rule that requires sending him to South Bend. But that seems unlikely.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    When in doubt, go see AZ Phil ....

    "It was a paper move only because Alzolay is not going to actually physically join the South Bend Cubs, but even so Alzolay could - ONLY - be optioned to South Bend because a player cannot be optioned to a club's minor league affiliate whose season has ended, and South Bend is the only Cubs minor league affiliate still playing."

  • In reply to stv711:

    Interesting and kind of crummy for Alzolay who loses out on service time for this paper move.

    And you are absolutely spot on with that rule.

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    If Nico can give us good defense then anything offensively is a big plus.
    I can dream—Nico at SS, Davis in CF with Marquez pitching. See yo in 2 years.
    Let’s Go Cubs!!

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    My bad. Javy at SS, Nico at 2nd.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I saw that, and was about to skewer you. :)

  • I'm not excited about how we look this year, and the situation we are in right now, but I'm still rooting for this team to be in the playoffs and do damage. Let's get it done. Next man up!!!!

    Congrats to Nico. He's more worthy of this opportunity than anyone else in the organization.

  • Nicky 4bags!

  • Nicky Launch Angle!!

  • Nico No Launch Angle!!

  • Now that's a nice piece of hitting by Nico... 2 strikes and a make contact swing. Welcome to the big leagues kid!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Just watched the replay. Javy would be proud. The pitch was at least 4 inches off the plate.

  • If the pitching (both starting and bullpen) can hold up it's end of the bargain, I have no doubts we can still win the division even with Nico in Javy's place.

  • Houston now has scored 36 runs in the last two games while allowing 1.

  • Congrats to Nico on his first ML hit, in his first ML AB.

    I said I had an idea for a nickname but didn't want to share it yet. I'm all excited and can't keep a secret. Tell me if it's good or if I'm an idiot::

    Nico Suave.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I don’t get it? Burma Shave?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    A cheesy song by a one-hit, no-talent pretty-boy in the early 90's.

    Rico Suave.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:


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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Very good.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Like it. But hopefully Nico is a much better at playing baseball than Rico was at singing

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    He's actually a Nicholas like Nick at Nite. This is going to be very confusing.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I love it BP!!! Niiiiikooooo... Suuaaaveeee...

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    The Cubs have to win 3 of 4 here, no more splitting series now. I would say with 20 games left they have to win 14 at least.
    Well done Kyle. Now Bote needed to make contact and get Nico to 3rd. That’s the difference between scoring a run or not.

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    Why not bat Caratini lead off when Zo isn’t? He’s got a good OBP and hits to all fields.

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    Little Jack Hoerner?
    I do like Nico Suave though.

  • Nico... Suave.

    I'm gonna run with this until people tell me to shut up.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    The only bad thing is it makes me remember that horrible song

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    It's one of those cultural moments that's so bad that it's good.

    A cult classic.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Ahh yeah
    But the girls seemed to enjoy the video

  • Big swing by Schwarber. Nice to get one of those runs back
    Hendricks only hitting 85 on his fastball. He doesn’t look comfortable out there

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    I wonder what Kyle’s trade value is now?

  • Nico...


  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Starting to like that song :)

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Jonathan and I have played off each other over the past couple years. "May I have another" and "your table is ready".
    I hope that Nico can provide enough spark that he becomes another quirk.

    I say "Nico".

    You say "Suave".

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That’d be perfect. And saying it until early November while you’re making snow angels

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Don't tease me.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Ok, I'll say it: "shut up". It's not very suave, lol.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    He runs like Mays.......will say that....

  • Walk it off son, walk it off....

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    That reminds me of that game:


  • We Go... with Nico

  • Nico...

  • In reply to BarleyPop:


  • For you bp

  • In reply to Cubpack:


    This is fun.

  • NICO!!! NICO!!! NICO!!!

    The kid can rip into the ball.

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    the latest BA top 100 prospects list has Nico ( Suave ) as # 40 and at #96 is Brailyn Marquez. He'll be much higher next year.

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