Cubs vs. Mets Preview, Saturday 6/15, 12:10 CT: Moving On, Without DDJ

Jim McIsaac

The Cubs will face several weeks without their starting center fielder, who was having the best year of his career.

Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com has this note regarding a replacement for the injured David DeJesus:

Manager Dale Sveum hopes DeJesus will miss only a few weeks. The Cubs are discussing their options for the next roster move, with Sveum signaling the bullpen could use a fresh arm and Ryan Sweeney will now get most of the playing time in center.

Giving Ryan Sweeney a chance to play every day is fine -- he appears to have stepped up his game, and maybe he'll prove his worth as an everyday player. An extra bullpen arm? The Cubs just got one -- Henry Rodriguez -- but they went ahead and decided to add another one:

An eight-man bullpen. I know where Dale Sveum got this idea, too: Ned Yost did it a few times when he managed the Brewers (Sveum was the hitting coach in Milwaukee at that time). It's a bad idea. This leaves the Cubs with the following bench: Dioner Navarro, Julio Borbon, Scott Hairston and Cody Ransom (or Nate Schierholtz and Luis Valbuena if a LHP starts, as today). This severely limits the Cubs' flexibility off the bench.

I assume Steve Clevenger will be back soon, which will help. I'm guessing Blake Parker heads back to Iowa at that point.

Also, CSN Chicago: autoplaying video is the scourge of the internet. Please stop doing it.

Cubs lineup:

Barney 2B, Ransom 3B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Rizzo 1B, Hairston RF, Castillo C, Sweeney CF, Feldman P

The usual lineup vs. lefthanders (at least it's been this way for the last couple of weeks), with a bit of a twist -- Starlin Castro third, Anthony Rizzo fifth.

Mets lineup:

Valdespin 2B, Murphy 1B, Wright 3B, Byrd RF, Duda LF, Turner SS, Recker C, Lagares CF, Niese P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman


Cubs

vs. Jon Niese

Jon Niese


Mets

vs. NY

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Scott Feldman 5-5 12 12 1 0 0 0 72.2 65 33 26 8 20 54 3.22 1.17


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jon Niese 3-5 12 12 0 0 0 0 68.0 77 40 32 5 29 39 4.24 1.56

Scott Feldman had one of his best starts of the year against the Mets, May 18 at Wrigley Field, allowing no runs in 6⅔ innings with six strikeouts. For good measure, he hit a two-run double that day. Feldman is possible trade bait; you can bet the scouts will be at Citi Field watching this one.

Jon Niese has had some decent starts this year and some bad ones; overall his season can best be described as "mediocre." You can say that about his starts against the Cubs in 2012, too, the last time he faced them: this one was really good and this one wasn't. Starlin Castro homered off Niese in the latter game.

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 Mets site Amazin' Avenue.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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