Jim Bowden (ESPN Insider, $) says Javier Baez might wind up traded:
The Cubs' depth was important when Kyle Schwarber went down with a season-ending knee injury, and they had Jorge Soler ready to take his place in left field. Baez, who can play second base, shortstop and third base, is their protection if an infielder gets injured, so the Cubs are in no hurry to trade him. However, there is no doubt that their plan for the next few years is to have Anthony Rizzo at first, Ben Zobrist at second, Addison Russell at shortstop and Kris Bryant at third. Therefore, it’s realistic to believe Baez could get traded at some point, especially if the Cubs could acquire a significant, young starting pitcher, such as the Rays' Jake Odorizzi or Drew Smyly.
Well.. first, it's Jim Bowden. Second, he says Baez is needed for depth, then says he could get traded. Well... sure. Anything can happen in baseball. But if Baez hits like the Cubs think he can hit, they'll find a place for him.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler LF, Zobrist 2B, Montero C, Russell SS, Hammel P
Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist switch lineup positions tonight.
Carpenter 3B, Hazelbaker RF, Holliday LF, Adams 1B, Grichuk CF, Molina C, Wong 2B, Tejada SS, Garcia P
Jason Hammel has made two excellent starts this year, though with a few too many walks (seven in 12 innings). Last year against the Cardinals (during the regular season), he made three starts. Two were interrupted -- one by a rain delay, the other by an injury which bothered Hammel most of the second half. He's completely recovered from that and if he can hold down Matt Holliday (4-for-11, three doubles) and Yadier Molina (6-for-13, three doubles) he should be able to handle the rest of this team.
When last we saw Jaime Garcia, he was busy throwing baseballs all over the infield at Busch Stadium, helping the Cubs score five unearned runs in Game 2 of the Division Series. (Plus the monster homer Jorge Soler hit off him.) This year, he's made two good starts, striking out 19 in 15 innings. The only current Cub who has more than a handful of at-bats against him is, oddly enough, his Cardinals teammate from last year, Jason Heyward (2-for-12). Miguel Montero is 2-for-2 with a home run against Garcia.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It will also be carried nationally on MLB Network (check local listings).
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.