Well, that road trip is over with. Hopefully the Cubs can get a fresh start now that they are finally at their homes for the first time in two months. At least the Brewers final felt like a regular loss instead of yet another back-breaking loss.
I’ll use the teams’ 2018 numbers here (excluding injured/departed players), since looking at a bunch of zeros is boring.
- OBP: Francisco Cervelli (.378)
- ISO: Gregory Polanco (.245)
- HR: Polanco (23)
- R+RBI: Polanco (156)
- wRC+: Cervelli (125)
- BSR: Josh Harrison (2.4)
- DRS: Corey Dickerson (16)
- SP K/9: Chris Archer (10.32)
- SP BB/9: Joe Musgrove (1.79)
- SP FIP: Jameson Taillon (3.46)
- RP K/9: Felipe Vazquez (11.44)
- RP BB/9: Richard Rodriguez (2.47)
- RP FIP: Vazquez (2.43)
- WAR: Taillon (3.8)
- OBP: Ben Zobrist (.378)
- ISO: El Mago (.264)
- HR: Baez (34)
- R+RBI: Baez (212)
- wRC+: Baez (131)
- BSR: Jason Heyward (4.3)
- DRS: Albert Almora (9)
- SP K/9: Yu Darvish (11.03)
- SP BB/9: Kyle Hendricks (1.99)
- SP FIP: Cole Hamels (3.42)
- RP FIP: Carl Edwards Jr (11.60)
- RP BB/9: Pedro Strop (3.17)
- RP FIP: Edwards (2.93)
- WAR: Baez (5.3)
Injuries, transactions, vengenace pacts, etc.
The Cubs sent Edwards to Iowa and Monty to the DL to call up Kyle Ryan and Allen Webster. They promptly gave up three runs between them in their Cubs debut. They looked better in yesterday’s game, where the bullpen shockingly gave up zero runs.
The Pirates are waiting to hear on suspensions following a pretty big fight by baseball standards. Chris Archer is almost certainly going to face one after throwing behind some Reds player not named Joey Votto, but he wasn’t slated to pitch in this series anyway.
We thought the Cubs offseason was bad, but the Pirates weren’t far off. They signed OF Lonnie Chisenhall and P Jordan Lyles and that’s about it, unless you count bringing back off-field problem child Jung Ho Kang as a new signing.
Projected K/9, BB/9, ERA listed for each pitcher.
Monday: Jameson Taillon, RHP (7.99, 1.91, 3.65) vs Jon Lester, LHP (7.78, 2.95, 4.16), 1:20 PM CT
Taillon was much better than I remembered last year, and it looks like the fantasy baseball types are all over him to have a breakout year after adding a slider in 2018.
Lester has been the most steady presence in the Cubs rotation so far, which isn’t saying much. Hopefully he’ll have another okay start in this one.
Wednesday: Jordan Lyles, RHP (7.16, 3.11, 4.81) vs Yu Darvish, RHP (10.38, 3.71, 4.02) 7:05 PM CT
Lyles has mostly been a reliever/swingman for the past few years, but it looks like the Pirates signed him to be a starter. He started his career as a innings sponge for those terrible pre-WS Astros teams, and then got lit up in Colorado after leaving Houston. He has a career 5.25 ERA, but the Pirates are only paying him $2m for the season. I guess it’s a better deal than Chatwood’s!
Darvish’s second start was better than his first, but it still stunk. Luckily for Darvish it was overshadowed by a bullpen meltdown after he was yanked from the game.
Thursday: Joe Musgrove, RHP (7.82, 1.69, 4.02) Jose Quintana, LHP (8.58, 3.03, 3.88) 7:05 PM CT
Musgrove throws a ton of strikes, so hopefully the Cubs hitters won’t be confused to see a guy that doesn’t go to a full count on every PA. He threw seven innings of shutout ball against the Reds in his only start so far this year.
Q got lit up by the Brewers, coughing up three homers in as many innings. Hopefully it can’t get much worse, which is pretty much the motto of the 2019 Cubs so far.