The Cubs begin their second western swing of the season -- meaning late-night games in the Chicago area for three of the six dates -- with a revamped roster that's minus four players who opened the year with the team.
This is, of course, necessary to begin the rebuild of this team. What I think should be happening at this point is to bring up guys like Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson and see what they can do. Why wait until September? Yes, I realize Jackson is annihilating strikeout records at Iowa and Vitters, while improved, still might not be a major-league third baseman. But why not find out when the rest of the year's results don't mean anything?
Better that than the idea of picking up someone like Derek Lowe, who is almost certainly done. Why not try Chris Rusin or Brooks Raley? The Cubs already have a retread at Iowa in Rodrigo Lopez if they want to go that route.
DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, LaHair RF, Clevenger C, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Samardzija P
Victorino LF, Ellis 2B, Kemp CF, Ethier RF, Ramirez SS, Loney 1B, Cruz 3B, Ellis C, Billingsley P
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Jeff Samardzija||7-8||22||20||0||0||0||0||120.1||111||58||56||12||47||121||4.19||1.31|
|2012 - Chad Billingsley||6-9||20||20||0||0||0||0||118.0||124||58||51||9||35||106||3.89||1.35|
Jeff Samardzija has never faced the Dodgers as a starter; he has one career relief appearance against them, April 23, 2011 at Wrigley Field. That tells us almost nothing about what he can do tonight; he's had stretches of excellent performance dotted with really bad outings this year. He had a good July, posting a 1.91 ERA in five starts. Let's hope that continues.
Chad Billingsley had a good outing against the Cubs May 4 at Wrigley Field, although the Cubs won that game. Billingsley, too, is coming off a good July -- 2.84 ERA in four starts. Current Cubs are 19-for-80 (.238) against him with one home run (David DeJesus).
Today's game is on WGN.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.