Well, that was a road trip to forget. Going 1-6 with five one-run losses is not what you want. Still, I’m gonna be the boring guy and say I’m still not too needle-movey on my opinion of the team. Sometimes you flip a coin and it comes up tails a bunch of times in a row.
Yes, the team is better with Mervis playing first base/DH instead of Hosmer. Who knows what the counter-factual would be if he were up. Baseball is just weird and annoying like this sometimes. That said, the bunt game was dumb af. I’ve been kind of meh on the Hosmer situation, but now it’s time. It looks like the Cubs agree, though its unclear as of writing this who is being bumped when Mervis is actually added to the roster. When Hosmer was hitting even crappier than expected in mid-April, I understood if didn’t necessarily agree with the ‘it’s only two weeks, the Cubs don’t want to look bad to other FAs for cutting bait so fast’ argument. As arbitrary as it is, the calendar turning and the bunt spotlight probably gives them enough cover now. I’m looking forward to seeing Mervis and hope he succeeds. It won’t take much to outhit Hosmer.
I’ll mostly repeat what I said about the Marlins in the front half of this LJS Double Down series (dying laughing). The Marlins win projections are about in line with the Cubs at this point in the season, so we should see some relatively evenly matched games. Their offense as a whole has gotten off to a slow start, posting a .244/.301/.384 slash line and a 90 wrC+ going into the first series, and their pitching staff posted a dead-on 4.50 ERA, so I guess expect a run every other inning. Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.
In addition to past…history…the Cubs have with the Marlins, I was surprised to find that old Cardinals pal Skip Schumacher is now their manager. Hopefully he left the voodoo back with the Provel in StL. Based on the Cardinals record this year and the Marlins record in one run games, signs point to Jobu moving to Miami.
(Projected) Team Leaders
Numbers taken from Zips projections – based on past performance there’s a 30% chance that I’ll put someone who is no longer in the team on these lists on any given week (dying laughing).
- OBP: Luis Arraez (.372)
- ISO: Jorge Soler (.218)
- HR: Soler (27)
- R+RBI: Jazz Chisholm (162)
- wRC+: Yuli Gurriel (131)
- BSR: John Berti (2.9)
- Defense: Jacob Stallings (17.2)
- SP K/9: Jesus Luzardo (10.03)
- SP BB/9: Sandy Alcantara (2.24)
- SP FIP: Alcantara (3.53)
- RP K/9: Tanner Scott (12.06)
- RP BB/9: Sixto Sanchez (2.64)
- RP FIP: Dylan Floro (?!) (3.50)
- WAR: Arraez (3.9)
- OBP: Suzuki (.352)
- ISO: Wisdom (.230)
- HR: Wisdom / Swanson (24)
- R+RBI: Swanson (171)
- wRC+: Suzuki (135)
- BSR: Hoerner (1.4)
- Defense: Swanson (16.2)
- SP K/9: Steele (8.94)
- SP BB/9: Taillon (2.16)
- SP FIP: Stroman (3.69)
- RP K/9: Hughes (10.62)
- RP BB/9: Alzolay (2.89)
- RP FIP: Fulmer (3.78)
- WAR: Swanson (5.2)
Who isn’t available?
Cyle is still rehabbing his shoulder injury, and probably won’t be back until May. He got knocked around again in his second rehab start but was likely still just working on his pitches rather than working on getting outs. He’s headed to Chicago to work on some mechanical stuff with the big league coaches. Yan Gomes is on the concussion IL; no word if it will stay the minimum 7 days. Adrian Sampson, already on the IL in the minors, was called up and put on the major league IL instead. Probably a precursor to some roster shenanigans with Mervis. Brandon Hughes is back on the IL with the same knee inflammation that he suffered in the spring. He looked good in his first few outings so hopefully he won’t be out long.
For the Marlins, old pal Johnny Cueto is on the shelf with a bicep injury and is rehabbing in J-Town, one of the top five swamp cities in Northern Florida. Starter Trevor Rodgers is out indefinitely with an indefinitely defined arm injury suffered a week or two ago, and has yet to pick up a baseball. Starting shortstop Joey Wendle has been out since early April with an intercostal strain. Since the last series with the Cubs, Avasail Garcia hit the IL with back tightness.
Pitching Matchups, game times
2023 Projected K/9, BB/9, ERA listed for all starters
Fri-yay: Edward Cabrera, RHP (9.97, 4.65, 4.50) vs Justin Steele, LHP (9.04, 3.71, 3.68), 1:20 PM CT
Saturday: Bryan Hoeing, RHP (4.95, 2.61, 5.08) vs Drew Smyly, LHP (8.12, 2.66, 1.64) , 1:20 PM CT
Sunday: Sandy Alcantara, RHP (8.22, 2.34, 3.44) vs Hayden Wesneski, RHP (7.33, 2.99, 4.85),1:20 PM CT
Alcantara was great last year, to say the least, but he’s struggled in 2023. He hasn’t been particularly unlucky in any of his rate stats (e.g. BABIP, etc)…a lot of it just seems like good ol regression to the mean. He has walked more batters than in the past few years, but it’s not like he’s Carlos Marmol out there.