The Smokies are home from tonight through Sunday. Then he could head to Iowa, where the I-Cubs are home through the 28th. After that? Who knows? The Cubs could wait till September 1 to reactivate him, only a few days after that.
The Cubs could use his bench bat. Assuming he's still hitting the way he was before he was optioned, he's almost a lock for the postseason roster.
In the meantime, there are more games to be won.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Soler LF, Heyward RF, Ross C, Lester P
Broxton CF, Arcia SS, Villar 3B, Perez RF, Carter 1B, Gennett 2B, Elmore LF, Maldonado C, Nelson P
After a brief glitch with the rest of the team in late June and early July, Jon Lester has resumed being very, very good this year. Since the All-Star break: 2.64 ERA, 1.104 WHIP with 31 strikeouts in 30⅔ innings and five starts. The one bad start in that stretch was his only start vs. the Brewers this year, July 24 in Milwaukee. He had command issues (five walks in four innings) and threw 100 pitches to record 12 outs. Hopefully, better results tonight.
Jimmy Nelson has a 1.53 ERA and 1.245 WHIP in three starts against the Cubs this year, but has allowed more runs than that -- seven runs in all in 17⅓ innings. Four of the runs were unearned. In six starts since the All-Star break he has a 5.70 ERA and 1.867 WHIP, with five home runs allowed in 30 innings. Current Cubs have hit five homers against him in 136 at-bats: two by Dexter Fowler, one each by Anthony Rizzo, Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler (6-for-17, three doubles).
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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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.