Game Post 8/6

screen-shot-2019-02-24-at-5-57-38-pm

Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Thursday: 6:07 PM CT FOX/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

1. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
2. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
3. Javier Baez (R) SS
4. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Victor Caratini (S) DH
8. Nico Hoerner (R) 2B
9. Ian Happ (S) CF
Royals
1. Whit Merrifield (R) RF
2. Jorge Soler (R) DH
4. Ryan O'Hearn (L) 1B
6. Alex Gordon (L) LF
7. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
8. Nicky Lopez (L) 2B
9. Nick Heath (L) CF
Bullpen Usage
screen-shot-2020-08-06-at-2-33-20-pm
screen-shot-2020-08-06-at-2-34-17-pm

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Brad Keller: Although he has not thrown an MLB pitch in 2020, Brad Keller threw 4,941 pitches that were tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2018 and 2019, all of them occuring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2019, he relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph), Slider (85mph) and Sinker (93mph). He also rarely threw a Change (89mph).

His fourseam fastball is straight as an arrow, generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has some natural sinking action and has essentially average velo. His slider has exceptional depth, has short glove-side cut and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His sinker has surprisingly little armside run, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slightly above average velo. His change is thrown extremely hard, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups, has surprising cut action and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups.

Sean's note: Keller has not started yet in 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19. He made 28 starts in 2019 with an ERA just over 4. Left handed and right handed hitters fared about equally against him.

Final Thoughts: Tyler Chatwood has been awesome in his first two starts. Justin Steele and Rex Brothers were sent to South Bend as rosters got reduced from 30 to 28.

Filed under: Game preview

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Royals stringing some hits together to go up 1-0. That's OK, we'll score 8. It's so impressive watching Chatwood when he can get the ball over the plate. His stuff is amazing.

    I have to give Soler a little credit. I used to bash him pretty hard, admittedly because of the "who do we trade? Javy or Jorge" debates. He looks like he's matured and is trying to become a better baseball player. I've seen a couple baserunning plays that he wouldn't have made in his time with the Cubs. Good for him.

    Quintana threw 35 pitches in a Sim game in South Bend today. I haven't seen more of a report, but it apparently went well and he's scheduled for a bullpen session Saturday.

    Keller looks good, but we'll get him. He'll be out before the 6th inning, and the Cubs will complete the 4-game sweep.

    Go Cubs!

  • cookie

  • A game like this is why I’m glad the much maligned Jose Quintana is getting closer to returning. At least chatwood isn’t walking guys like in 2018, but it’s still in question whether we can expect chatwood and Mills to pitch so well as starters over the long haul. Those 2 have gotten off to a really nice start, so I’m not complaining. But 2 good starts isn’t a large enough sample size to make me believe that those two guys are the real deal. Another starting pitching option is still needed over the long haul, and I don’t think cubs fans were wrong to worry about Mills and chatwood as starters before the season started. At least Mills/Chatwood have both shown some good things in their 1st 2 starts, but I’m in the camp that feels they’d both be hard pressed to hold off a proven starter in Quintana all season. Q hasn’t lived up to the price they paid for him, but he’s still one of the teams top 4 starters IMO.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Seems to me Hendricks and Yu had clunkers as well. I haven’t seen you abandon ship on them.

  • In reply to stix:

    Fair point. I think Yu, and especially Hendricks, have more of a track record. The point that kk was making, to me, was that Quintana shouldn't be overlooked just yet. I have faith that Chatwood can maintain enough to stay in the rotation. Mills has to continue to prove himself.

    The whole point was to not dismiss a proven arm over a couple good starts.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    Q is a favorite of mine. Although I expected more from him the last two years, his track record doesn’t lend itself to an abundance of confidence. I had him on my fantasy teams in the last three years and as I said was disappointed. Obviously if Mills/Chatwood throw a few more clunkers i’d be glad to have Q. I just don’t think he is our savior in the rotation. Maybe the Cubs would be better to slot Q in the BP and see how he does before he might fit in the rotation. BP needs LH help.

  • In reply to stix:

    I’m not abandoning ship on anyone both pitchers are still competing for a rotation spot, and I was just giving my opinion that Quintana is a better, more accomplished pitcher then both mills and chatwood. Surprised you may disagree stix if I recall correctly you told me you had Quintana on your fantasy baseball team last year, and you’ve always seemed supportive of Q relative to some cub fans. I personally trust Quintana starting a game 4 playoff game over both of these guys, and a few pleasantly surprising performances don’t change that. I’ve also been vocal before tonight’s bad start with cubber that I find it hard to believe that both Chatwood and Mills pitch well enough long term to send Q to the bullpen. I’ve never bought into that whole narrative that the cubs should consider making Q a reliever in his contract year. I generally trust a players long term track record over any short term success or struggles.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You make another good point right at the end there. Sometimes we view players as machines, just numbers on a screen to be dealt about in fantasy leagues. As crazy as this year has been, it is still Quintana's walk year.

    I'm not saying he wouldn't be, but not every player is open to making a change to what they've always done, especially when showcasing themselves for a contract. Quintana has never really worked out of the pen.

    I'd bet something unforeseen happens, and everything works itself out, as baseball usually does.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    Q is no savior but I'm a big believer in the power of the contract season. Q wants to get one last decent payday, and chatwood wants to be valued as a legitimate Mlb starter. I agree with you and 44slug that chatwood has the best bullpen profile with his power arm, although I admit I am somewhat intrigued by how he's suddenly not walking guys. Yesterday was a rough start but I don't hate what I'm seeing from chatwood from a process oriented perspective. He's still at least throwing strikes. I'd rather see chatwood get knocked around , rather then seeing him walk 6 batters while only lasting 3-4 innings. I wonder if he can be a solid 5th starter if he continues to avoid the walks, and more strikes means more innings.

    For me I personally still have Quintana as my favorite to be this teams 4th starter. I find it hard to believe that either of mills/Chatwood holds Q off, much less both of them. Believe me too I'm rooting for Alec mills, as he's the only guy the cubs control in the future. But he always pitches well against Cincinnati, and his last start was a revenge start against his former team (KC). I think his upcoming starts against St. Louis and Milwaukee will give us a better feel on Mills.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I had Q destined back in the rotation for his body of work there and Chatwood back to the pen for that same reason. Also, Chatwood is more of a stuff pitcher and could do good work in late innings now that he has his command. Seems like a easier adjustment for them and fits the team's needs.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I keep seeing this option, and as uncomfortable as it makes me, it makes some sense. I don't know how this plays out.

    I believe quality starting pitchers are more valuable than even closers, but circumstances change things. If Chatwood continues pitching well while starting, tonight notwithstanding, I find it hard to make a case to pull him out of that role. However...

    If we have a black hole in the closer's role, in a season where we may be competitive, we have to fill that hole.

    I know Chatwood, like Quintana, is pitching for a contract. In years past, they may want to cling to the "starter" role to maximize their $. I think the game has changed, and the FO personnel that cut the checks know that.

    This has been a surreal year in so many ways. Maybe we see Chatwood lead us to a division title as a starter, and to a Championship as a closer.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    Contracts probably shouldn't enter into this sawed off season, but that WS trophy does. If Quintana gets on one of his hot streaks, he can be as tough as an6body. Chatwood is capable of two even three inning saves as well as he is the last three outs. Cub team is all in. Let's get it done!

  • Put Kimbrel in.

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    Kimbreel and other little used relievers to see if any of them can throw some strikes and get few outs.

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    Yeah, we just waved the white flag and pulled most of the starters. Kimbrel does need to get some work.

  • "Most peculiar, mama."

  • Well, this sucks. May as well share a random thought:

    I see that Mike Trout hit two bombs yesterday, bringing his career OPS back up over 1.000. I hope all us baseball fans appreciate that we are watching one of the elite of baseball elites.

    For fun, I went to Baseball Reference's page of "career OPS leaders". On my phone, the page starts with the head shots of the top 24. With that hint, and not looking further, I was able to identify 22 of the 24 without looking at the list.

    Funny, because numbers 22 and 24 were the ones who stumped me.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I couldn't guess 6 of them.

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    I'm weird. I have long hair and blast Black Sabbath at a volume of 11, then tend to my vegetable garden and scold my friends for their wasteful ways.

    I received a baseball encyclopedia for my 9th birthday, and sucked it up like I currently do beer. So much so that I'd walk my neighborhood and everyone would quiz me. It was a game, and I've loved it ever since.

    Baseball history fascinates me.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I can relate. I play in a metal band (except during Covid), garden & homebrew. Recently gave away my Baseball Encyclopedia simply because the bookshelves couldn't bear it.

  • Here's an interesting statistic I stumbled upon on Baseball Reference:

    In 7 seasons of baseball with the Cubs, Alfonso Soriano accumulated .9 more points of WAR that Dave Kingman did in his 3 season tenure with the club.

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    And I thought Kingman sucked playing LF. :)

Leave a comment