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Playing Out The String: Cubs vs. Padres Preview, Wednesday 8/18, 1:20 CT

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I mentioned this in the comments to this FanShot, but also wanted to note here on the front page, that from what I understand, there was nothing to the "Braves after Ramirez" rumors. Aramis will remain a Cub for the rest of this year, and presumably, next, after he exercises his player option.

So the only Cubs still possibly headed elsewhere would likely be Xavier Nady and Kosuke Fukudome. I assume both of those players have cleared waivers and the only reason Fukudome is getting regular playing time is to try to showcase him for scouts. I know people have mentioned here that the scouts already know what he can and can't do -- but they know that about other players, too, and yet scouts sit at virtually every major league game taking a look at players they might be interested in for their team (as opposed to advance scouting, where a scout specifically is looking at a club his team is going to play soon).

Fukudome has raised his game a little since being re-inserted as a more-or-less regular player. Since August 7 he's hitting .306/.419/.500 in 43 PA with seven walks, four doubles, a HR and six RBI. Yes, it's a small sample size. Maybe some team will take him, if the Cubs will eat some of next year's contract. Better to save some of that money than to have him as a $14 million bench player in 2011.

Meanwhile, there's a game this afternoon.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Casey Coleman
Casey Coleman
Cubs
vs. Clayton Richard
Clayton Richard
Padres
0-0 W-L 10-5
8.64 ERA 3.80
5 SO 116
5 BB 57
0 HR 10
vs. SD -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Casey Coleman 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 8.1 10 8 8 0 5 5 8.64 1.80


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Clayton Richard 10-5 24 24 0 0 0 0 147.0 150 64 62 10 57 116 3.80 1.41

So who got the better of the Jake Peavy deal? Clayton Richard has had a fine year for the Padres, and even if they don't get anything out of the other three players, they saved a lot of money and got a solid rotation starter. Richard has never faced the Cubs, though a handful of them (Xavier Nady, Marlon Byrd, Blake DeWitt) have a couple of career PA against him.

Casey Coleman is making his first major league start. He had a horrible ML debut against the Brewers on August 2, but since then has made three decent relief appearances. His dad, Joe Coleman, made this mediocre start vs. the Pirates on June 28, 1976, after which he was banished to the bullpen for the rest of his Cubs tenure. Let's hope Casey reverses that family trend.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago -- no San Diego TV. The game will be available on Extra Innings. 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 Padres site Gaslamp Ball.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.