Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview, Saturday 7/28, 12:05 CT

More Rizzo! Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hits a two -un homer against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE

There is no Ryan Dempster news this morning, or at least there wasn't at the time I wrote this.

However, amuse yourselves with latest fantasy from Phil Rogers, who thinks the Cubs should make a multi-player deal with the Rays centered around Alfonso Soriano:

Here's the proposal: Soriano, Bryan LaHair, Geovany Soto and $22 million for Luke Scott or [Carlos] Pena, Chris Archer, Tim Beckham and another two or three prospects. Scott or Pena comes to the Cubs strictly to offset salary for this season and open room for Soriano, and they go off the books after this season; the $22 million is to pay $11 million of the $18 million Soriano is due in 2013 and '14 (roughly what Soriano costs over what the Rays gave Pena, as LaHair will be a low-cost replacement at first base).

Although this proposal is ridiculous (why on Earth would the Cubs want Carlos Pena back, or have any use at all for Luke Scott?), there is some merit in trying to sell the Rays on Soriano. Tampa Bay's DH spot has been a black hole all season; Rays DH's (mostly Scott, with a bit of Hideki Matsui, since let go, and a few games of Jeff Keppinger) have hit .211/.273/.369 in 2012. Soriano would be an instant upgrade. What I'd propose is that the Cubs ship Soriano to Tampa Bay, eat 90% of the contract, and ask for Archer back. That would help the Rays this year -- they still have a real shot at the playoffs -- and give the Cubs a young starting pitcher, who a lot of you thought should never have been traded away in the first place.

Incidentally, for those of you wondered what happened to Pena, he hit .286/.412/.488 in April, but has hit .165/.295/.308 since then and is at .193/.323/.350 overall. This could be Pena's last year.

Lineups were not available at the time I wrote this post. Check the BCB Twitter feed for today's lineups.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Jeff Samardzija
Jeff Samardzija
Cubs
vs. Joe Kelly
Joe Kelly
Cardinals
7-8 W-L 1-3
4.25 ERA 2.78
114 SO 26
41 BB 17
12 HR 5
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jeff Samardzija 7-8 21 19 0 0 0 0 114.1 108 56 54 12 41 114 4.25 1.30


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Joe Kelly 1-3 11 8 0 0 0 0 45.1 45 19 14 5 17 26 2.78 1.37

Jeff Samardzija threw six shutout innings against the Cardinals April 24 at Wrigley Field. However, current Cardinals are hitting .326 (although in a small-sample-size 28-for-86) against him with 13 walks). Shark has had a very good July (1.67 ERA in four starts) after a rough June. It would be nice to see him finish off the month strong.

Joe Kelly will be making his ninth major-league start today. He has never faced the Cubs nor anyone on the current roster. He's thrown pretty well in his first eight starts; the only weakness appears to be a bit of control trouble -- 17 walks in 45⅓ innings. You know it usually means when the Cubs see a pitcher they've never faced before.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva El Birdos.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 12:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 1:05, 2:05 and 2:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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