Series preview is here.
Tuesday: 7:05 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM
Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.
Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.
Felix Hernández: Felix Hernandez has thrown 37,503 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2007 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason, The World Baseball Classic and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Curve (80mph) and Sinker (90mph), also mixing in a Change (85mph), Fourseam Fastball (91mph) and Slider (84mph). He also rarely throws a Cutter (86mph).
His curve generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ curves. His sinker results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has slightly below average velo. His change dives down out of the zone, generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups and is slightly firmer than usual. His fourseam fastball has some natural sinking action, has slightly below average velo and has slightly less natural movement than typical. His slider is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ sliders. His cutter has heavy sink, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ cutters, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ cutters and has slightly below average velo.
Sean’s Note: King Felix is just a shell of himself at this point, injuries have limited him to just 49 innings in 2019. He has a 6.02 ERA in that time, including a pretty ugly 12 homers (21% FB/HR). He doesn’t strike out many hitters anymore and he gets hit well by left handed and right handed batters. The Cubs scored four runs on him in six innings on April 30.
Final Thoughts: The Cubs got a big boost Tuesday with the return of Willson Contreras and Ben Zobrist. Contreras has been out just over a month with a hamstring injury, while Zobrist went on leave for personal reasons after his divorce. It remains unclear what to expect especially from Ben, but it couldn’t hurt a struggling lineup. Jon Lester was good in his last start, hopefully can turn it on down the stretch.