The Cubs head to the desert, which is feeling especially desert-like already (high of 101 forecast for today). Since this is one of my two ‘local’ teams I’m out here to catch a few games and see some locals that I know. Thank the maker that (insert bank here) Park is air conditioned.
The Cubs just saw the Dbacks last week and took two of three at Wrigley, only losing to Zack Greinke. Luckily for the Cubs he pitched yesterday, so they dodge him in this series.
I’m switching to 2019 numbers now, though small sample sizes abound. Also I’m too lazy to look up which 2018 team leaders are actually still with the teams.
- OBP: Contreras (.446)
- ISO: Contreras (.348)
- HR: Baez (8)
- R+RBI: Baez (41)
- wRC+: Contreras (185)
- BSR: Rizzo (1.4)
- SP K/9: Quintana (10.50)
- SP BB/9: Q (2.25)
- SP FIP: Q (3.15)
- RP FIP: Ryan (13.50)
- RP BB/9: Kintzler (0.84)
- RP FIP: Ryan (1.99)
- WAR: Baez (1.3)
- OBP: Jarrod Dyson (.418)
- ISO: Christian Walker (.353)
- HR: Walker (7)
- R+RBI: David Peralta / Ketel Marte (33)
- wRC+: Walker (180)
- BSR: Walker (1.2)
- SP K/9: Luke Weaver (10.33)
- SP BB/9: Greinke (1.73)
- SP FIP: Weaver (2.56)
- RP FIP: Greg Holland (14.63)
- RP BB/9: Matt Koch (2.20)
- RP FIP: Holland (0.99)
- WAR: Walker (1.3)
Transactions, injuries, vengeance pacts, etc
Lester is back with the Cubs, obviously, and it sounds like Monty won’t be far behind. After Rosario’s latest outing I’m guessing he should be arranging a place to stay in Iowa. Xavier Cedeno and Tony Barnette should be ready to go soon as well.
For the Snakes, former Cub Alex Avila has been out for most of the month with a quad strain. OF Steven Souza is out for the year with major knee surgery, and Taijuan Walker is slowly working his way back from TJS last year.
Since I forgot to do a preview the last week, the big transaction of the AZ offseason was obviously trading face of the franchise and perennial MVP contender Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals. The big pieces coming the other way in the deal were SP Luke Weaver and C Carson Kelly. And of course the Cards immediately extended Goldy.
Projected K/9, BB/9, ERA listed for each pitcher.
Friday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (7.65, 2.25, 3.81) vs Robbie Ray, LHP (11.60, 4.50, 3.94), 8:40 PM CT
Just start your games at 7 pm local, Arizona, sheesh. I’m always confused by the weird start times every time I’m out here.
Kyle was Cyle again when he faced the Dbacks last week, striking out eleven in seven shutout innings and getting soft contact all over the place. The soft contact was great to see since hitters had been squaring him up in his first few starts, and all the traffic on the basepaths led to relatively early exits.
Ray wasn’t too shabby himself against the Cubs, allowing just one run in six innings. Given his usual strikeout and walk numbers, he’s a good candidate for the Cubs to chase early if they can take a few pitches.
Saturday: Yu Darvish, RHP (10.44, 3.74, 4.22) vs Zack Godley, RHP (8.91, 3.96, 4.35), 7:10 PM CT
Darvish backslid from meh to not great in his start against the Dbacks last weekend, walking three and allowing two home runs in five innings. He settled in after his shakiness in the early innings, but racking up so many pitches led to an early exit. He got stronger as the game went on in his previous (good) start, so maybe the Cubs just need to get him to throw two innings in the tunnel before the game or something.
Godley has been lit up a few times this year, but is generally just your generic credible pitcher. He’s struggled with walks a bit more than normal so far this year.
Sunday: Jose Quintana, LHP (8.76, 2.90, 3.68) vs Luke Weaver, RHP (8.29, 2.91, 4.50), 3:10 PM CT
Q has been a godsend for the Cubs in April, and as Pat Hughes would say his scoreless seven inning, eleven strikeout start on 11 April was a real turning point for the Cubs season. Since then he’s put together his best three game stretch as a Cub, and possibly for his career.
Weaver has been great so far with the Dbacks, and a change of scenery seems to be doing him some good after being jerked around a bit by the Cardinals over the past few seasons.