Before I get to the particulars for Friday's game, let's talk a bit about the Cubs' future... a future that might not arrive for five years, but one that could help the team for years down the road.
16-year-old Dominican outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez was officially signed by the Cubs Thursday. He was ranked the top international prospect this year, and will get $2.8 million:
"It's my dream to be a Major League Baseball player, but I don't want to just get there," Jimenez told MLB.com in June. "I want to be one of the best players in the game and to ever come from the Dominican Republic." The 16-year-old outfielder is considered the crown jewel of this year's international class because of his 6-foot-4, 198-pound frame and multiple tools. He has plus-speed and gap-to-gap power and is an advanced hitter for his age. Defensively, he's sound with a strong arm and projects as a corner outfielder. Although Jimenez played for the RBI program in the Dominican Republic and for the International Prospect League, he lacks in-game experience and should continue to grow once he reports to the Cubs' academy.
That's the academy opened up by the Cubs this past May, on which they have spent several million dollars. Next time you think the Cubs are "cheap", remember things like this. It will be a couple of years, probably, before you see Eloy Jimenez play in the US minor leagues. Hopefully, he's as good as the Cubs think he's going to be.
Note for today's game: the Cubs today are trying to stop the Dodgers from tying a franchise record. L.A. has won 11 straight road games; their team record is 12, set when they were in Brooklyn in 1924.
DeJesus CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Castillo C, Castro SS, Ransom 3B, Gillespie RF, Barney 2B, Wood P
M. Ellis 2B, Punto SS, Gonzalez 1B, Puig RF, Van Slyke LF, Ethier CF, AJ Ellis C, Uribe 3B, Ryu P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Travis Wood||7-7||25||21||0||0||0||0||135.1||101||45||42||10||44||95||2.79||1.07|
|2013 - Hyun-Jin Ryu||9-3||20||20||1||1||0||0||129.0||118||47||45||11||42||105||3.14||1.24|
After a couple of mediocre, non-quality-start outings, Travis Wood righted his ship in his last start against the Giants, throwing seven innings and giving up just four hits and an unearned run. He started once against the Dodgers in 2012 (May 6 at Wrigley Field) and that lineup should give you an idea of how much the Dodgers have changed in that time. Current Dodgers are a small-sample-size 8-for-28 (.286) against Wood with no home runs.
Hyun-Jin Ryu has been quite consistent for the Dodgers in his rookie season; he gave a powerful Reds lineup just one run in seven innings in his last start. He's 26 and came to the Dodgers from Korea via the posting system last winter. He has never faced the Cubs nor anyone on the current roster, and, as far as I know, is no relation to former Cubs prospect Jae-Kuk Ryu.
Unusual note: both of today's pitchers throw lefthanded, but bat righthanded. You already know Wood is a good hitter; Ryu is hitting .216 with two doubles and a triple.
Today's game is on WGN.
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.