Pre-Gamin’: Cubs v. Phillies (6:05 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc.

A win tonight, and the Cubs have already accomplished as much as I hoped they might in this four-game series with the Phillies. I find that if I set my hopes low, I’m rarely disappointed. Well, except for the last two years of Chicago Cubs baseball. I couldn’t set my hopes low enough.

Randy Wells gets his second start, and another chance to demonstrate that he should be in the bigs, somehow. As Paul Maholm demonstrated last night, this is a lineup you can dominate.

Tony Campana gets the night off, which is understandable, but a bummer given who’s playing first for the Phillies tonight. The drag bunt would literally work every time.

It’s another national game tonight on MLBN (and WGN), so get your watchin’ on.

UPDATE: Now Geovany Soto has some upper back tightness, so Welington Castillo will make his 2012 debut in Soto’s place.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (7-13) at Philadelphia Phillies (9-11), 6:05pm CT on WGN and MLBN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness by clicking on me. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60 ERA, 2.20 WHIP)

versus

Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34 ERA, 3.4 K/9)

Philadelphia Phillies Lineup

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS

2. Placido Polanco, 3B

3. Hunter Pence, RF

4. Jim Thome, 1B

5. Shane Victorino, CF

6. Laynce Nix, LF

7. Carlos Ruiz, C

8. Pete Orr, 2B

9. Joe Blanton, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Bryan LaHair, 1B

5. Alfonso Soriano, LF

6. Ian Stewart, 3B

7. Reed Johnson, CF

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Randy Wells, P

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

72 responses to “Pre-Gamin’: Cubs v. Phillies (6:05 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc.”

  1. Njriv

    Soto is a scratch with upper-back tightness, Castillo is starting in his spot.

    1. calicubsfan007

      He kind of looked like he was in pain when he was running the bases during the Phillies game. Will this hurt his trade value?

      1. JustSwain

        It depends on how many games he is able to start. Most catchers will miss at least part of the year with back/knee problems, and very few start more than 140 games a year. If Soto looks like he’ll be able to start 125 this year it’ll be about in line with what he usually does in a year, so it will be a neutral factor. The fact that Soto averages less than 120 games per season will impact his trade value, its just already a known factor so I don’t see teams who were willing to take him before this suddenly getting cold feet.

  2. calicubsfan007

    What’s up with the Phillies this year? They have a losing record and a horrible offense. They really miss Howard and Utley. Does anyone know when they will be expected back? Who will be demoted when Dempster comes back?

    1. Jay Anderson Jr

      Castillo demoted, Volstad to pen.

      1. Njriv

        I can’t see Volstad in the bullpen.

  3. Cubs1967

    why would you bench campy against a righty?……save it for the lefties.
    sveum has too much quade in him and his line-ups.
    but then gain, sveum is on a 3 yr deal; theo 5 yrs; there’s a reason for that.

    1. djriz

      Sveum’s lineups just show some of the weaknesses of sabermetrics. it takes common sense out of the equation. He can say he wants a ‘set’ lineup all he wants, but some obscure split will have him switch things up all the time. No longer will ‘riding the hot hand’ be a good enough reason to keep someone in the lineup.

      And before all you stat heads go all ballistic on me, please remember, we are 7-12!

      1. Drew

        Are you referencing a particular change? Just trying to understand where blaming sabermetrics fit in and how being 7-12 has anything to do with it.

      2. Mrp

        I assume you are referring to Johnson starting over Campana? Reed has great numbers against Joe Blanton (.417/.500/.833 in 12ABs). He is one of 3 players on the team to have double digit ABs off of Joe Blanton. That would mean that today is as good a day as any to get Reed some ABs.

      3. Cubs1967

        7-13 is the actual record

      4. DocPeterWimsey

        The 7-12 or 7-13 argument means anything only if we expected a radically different record.  Remember, sabermetrics says that you cannot get much out juggling lineups: it’s the deck chairs on the Titanic analogy.  What it says is stock your roster with particular types of players: and those players are in short supply on the Cubs.  Sveum is using low sample sizes to try to maximize what he can get out of guys, but deck chairs, ships, etc.

        1. Jay Anderson Jr

          Sabermetric and all these stupid computer generated Stats, youcan keep. Give memy old school pass time and I’m good.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            After all, look at how all the WS games that old school pass provided the Cubs.  Those new school passes that the Sox, Yanks, Phils, Rays, etc., use sure look useless now!

  4. Jay Anderson Jr

    I know Brett reported it earlier, but Campana needs to play. He is a monsternon the bases. If I’m a coach, he has to play everyday. His speed alone causes errors, rushed throws and bad decision.

    Also, I would move Castillo up in the order to maybe six. Hes a guy with some pop. If we are going to play him, might as well play him where he could possibly play in the future and see what he has.

  5. this old cub 2

    Agree, with the old man at first, Tony C would run him ragged. And Castillo should hit higher. He can crunch the ball!

    1. DocPWimsey

      Castillo’s OBP in the minors has been pretty bad; #8 is a good spot for guys with pop but no OBP.

      Campy is having a nice little run, but it’s his 15 minutes; as many guys before him have shown, speed alone simply won’t cut it. (The Dodgers are about to learn this with Dee Gordon.)

      1. Brady

        Also we may bring in Tony to PH later in the game so he may still see some playing time.

  6. JustSwain

    I think Sveum is probably rewarding Johnson for wacking a solid extra base hit last game. I know, it looked like Pence had a play on it, but he’s one of the few guys in the league who could have gotten to that ball in the first place. Might have been a single if it was played conservatively, but he put some juice on it. Also he is a defensive upgrade.

  7. JustSwain

    Wait Philly is starting Thome on 1st? I take it back they should have started every left hander they have. Johnson can go the other way, but man you want to take advantage of Thome’s lack of range…

  8. DocPWimsey

    Yeah, what is up with the poor Phils? OK, losing Utley and Howard seriously crimps any team: even the Yankees couldn’t absorb that blow. Still, they have a lot of good guys doing poorly. Unfortunately, what they need is a flyball pitcher to get their bats “on” for a game…..

    1. Jay Anderson Jr

      Love it or not, campy is here to stay. I don’t trust Theo and Jed however. I fear they are playing him to trade him. It would be dumb and we would regret it. He has been our best all around offensives player(him or LaHair) since being call up.

      1. ferrets_bueller

        He’s here to stay…..until an actual MLB-quality CF by the name of Brett Jackson arrives.

        1. Jay Anderson Jr

          When Jackson arrives, Campana will still play. Either we move Dejesus, or we move Soriano. If we want to win, play Campana. BTW, Jackson is not an MLB CF by talent. He a corner guy. He only a CF on our team by default.

          1. ferrets_bueller

            Wait wait wait, let me get this straight.

            You think Campana is a CF, but not Jackson?

            Brett Jackson is a CF. He has the instincts, a plus glove, an average arm, and slightly plus speed. The only reason why he wouldn’t play CF in the majors is if he was on a team with an established GG quality CF. And even then, his defensive ceiling (and offensive, for that matter) has been compared to that of Edmonds.

          2. Mrp

            Sorry Jay, but you are misinformed. Please see Ferrets’ post above as he is dead on. Jackson is our future CF until someone can push him out.

            1. Luke

              And that someone will probably be Matt Szczur, who is still a year or two away.  Jackson should have center to himself for a good season and a half.

            2. Jay Anderson Jr

              Jackson has to learn not to strike out before he reaches the majors. Then has to perform when he gets here. I’m big on Jackson. So I hope we see him soon, But Campana is still a must play. If Sveum is smart, we.play Jackson in right, Campana in center and split Dejesus and Soriano in left. In a year and a half, when Szczur is here, move Campana to left and we would have a legit outfield. Idont understand the hats for Campana. On this current 25 man roster, he is the best we have.

              1. Jay Anderson Jr

                Best outfielder we have.

              2. ferrets_bueller

                “Jackson has to learn not to strike out before he reaches the majors. ”

                …..like how Campana needed to have learned how to hit, how to walk, how to throw, and to take routes (good lord, he looks like a slowpitch softball player) and get reads before he got to the majors, and didn’t?

                I just have absolutely no idea what you see, or how you evaluate players, because it’s absurd. Campana’s arm is well, well, well below average, his glove is simply average, and his instincts on defense are pretty much non-existent.

                On a 1-5 scale:
                Campana: Arm 1 Speed 5 Glove 3 Instincts 1
                Jackson: Arm 3 Speed 4 Glove 5+ Instincts 4/5

                Its not even close. Campana is a LF, if that. Jackson is a potential GG’r.

                And as far as Jackson’s Ks go….
                There are two kinds of strikeouts. Those that come from being too aggressive, and those that come from being patient.
                Usually, the guys with very high BB totals, and league leading OBP/OBPS numbers, also have a large amount of strikeouts.
                Jackson is extremely patient. His OBP numbers (what actually matters, not BA) are elite.

                He could cut down on the strikeouts, and be more aggressive, to hit for a higher BA………but that would reduce his OBP by even more, as well as reducing his SLG and other power numbers, and increase his GDP, etc…because he would be swinging at worse pitches. He would have less Ks and a higher BA, but be a much worse player. Stop just looking at basic stat lines.

                1. drew

                  You just hit it right on the head.

                  I just finished a dinner conversation w a family member about the exact same thing (Jackson) – Given the way he strikes out, a dramatic decrease in his K rate would almost certainly mean a significant drop in BB AND XBH – in other words, it would put a huge dent in his value.

                  This is the Major Leagues; just getting the ball in play doesnt win ball games.

                  Great post, FB

                2. DocPWimsey

                  This is really a “having your cake and eating it, too” issue. Or, put another way, failure to recognize correlation. Jackson K’s for the same reason he slugs and walks: he is very selective about which pitches he tries to drive and he’s always trying to drive the ball. Change that, and you get rid of his K’s, BB’s and HR.

                  The idea of starting Campy every day because of the occasional run his speed generates (and that means a run that would not have scored without his speed) is the same thing. That is, you give up so many more runs due to his mediocre OBP and lack of power relative to a guy like Jackson that for every Campy run gained, it’s multiple BJax runs lost.

                  1. Jay Anderson Jr

                    We are 4-2 in games in which Campana plays and 3-11 when he doesn’t. Enough said.

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      The Cubs outslugged the opposition in 3 of those 4 victories and got outslugged in the 2 that they lost.  5 games following 80% of games in MLB this year and 1 game following 20%.  Campana is just along for the ride.

                    2. drew

                      Thats what I’d expect someone who refers to logic and reason as “sabermetric crap” and lumps everything thats not “a scout’s eye” into one pile of garbage.

                      I would be willing to bet you have probably caused more than a few people to want TC to cool off just so we dont have to listen to you continue to make him out to be the next Lou Brock after 6 games.

                      I like Campana, but he is not a good CF, he is not a leadoff hitter, (at least yet) and he needs to learn how to get on base more often (for more than a week). He is what he is: a decent option as a 4th outfielder, really fast, and a good contact hitter. I know hes doing everything he can to prove hes an everyday big-leaguer, but he just isnt there yet.

                    3. Hansman1982

                      This like saying koyie hill is a better option than soto because the team had a better record. Jackson > Campana. Unless you know something that ever talent evaluator in baseball is missing.

                  2. Jay Anderson Jr

                    Also, comparing the 2, Campana and Jackson, is pointless to me. As long as by years end, they’re both in the lineup, I could careless what OF spot they play.

                3. Cubs Dude

                  Sorry Jay, but I have to agree that Campana couldn’t carry Jackson’s jock defensively, and isn’t even close to the all around skills that B Jax projects. I will say that Campana does add something thats hard to put your finger on. He puts a lot of pressure and stress on the dfence. But in my opinion he is a poor mans Juan Pierre at best.

              3. Hansman1982

                Campana is only a must play of he can get on base at a .350 clip. Until then his defense and lack of power won’t be made up for by his speed

      2. Jay Anderson Jr

        Oops. Wrong post Doc. My appologies.

  9. calicubsfan007

    I don’t know, I think that Campy should start more. He is very similar to David Eckstein, not the greatest physical traits, but is scrappy and fast. Reed Johnson is a great bench player and a adequate starter, not much more than that. Pence made a huge mistake playing Johnson’s hit the way he did. Every outfielder is taught that, when there are runners in scoring position, they need to do whatever they can to prevent the runners from advancing. Sometimes, you need to be aggressive, other times, play it safe. Pence has played long enough to be able to differenciate when he needs to be aggressive and when he needs to play it safe. It was a mental error. But I don’t mind, I’m just glad that it wasn’t one of our guys like Soriano.

    1. Drew

      “He is very similar to David Eckstein, not the greatest physical traits, but is scrappy and fast.”

      The Scrappy factor! It took longer than I thought for that one resurface! What was the formula for that one?

      1. calicubsfan007

        Ha, nice. I know, it isn’t the greatest way to measure any player. It is similar to the word “upside” or “potential” being used in the NFL draft. But I am guilty of liking the scrappy guys, sorry. It goes against every possible math formula and every SABR metric formula, call me old school. I prefer guys who play their hearts out over a lot of things, which explains why I abhore professional athletes getting millions. I want guys who play for the love of the game, not for the next contract.

        1. drew

          I didnt mean for that to sound like I was blowing up your post, just referencing a string of posts from a few weeks ago.

          In comparison to NFL terms, I feel “scrappy” is more closely related to a “high motor” player; both impossible to quantify, both requiring many prerequisite-skills before even remotely making a difference (although the high motor does seem to make more of a difference among the elite).

          In a perfect world, being “scrappy” would make a difference and all the best players in the game would play at a high level, thus “deserving” those big contracts.

          1. ferrets_bueller

            Just to let you know, Scrappy is kind of a joke term around here. Most people use it sarcastically, to describe the players that some Cubs fans irrationally love despite their overbearing lack of talent or massive holes in their game.

            1. calicubsfan007

              Oh, so what’s the safe word then?

              1. JustSwain

                Fast? That seems to be what most people referring to Campana as scrappy mean. Campana’s other skills are all minus (he has been hitting well lately though)

                1. calicubsfan007

                  Thanks.

          2. calicubsfan007

            I didn’t think you were. I have been told by other people that scrappy is another word for no talent. I just wanted to put my opinion out there.

  10. epic

    some of you guys on this site are such huge bandwagon fans. campana has a few good games you love the guy, he has a bad night you hate the guy. he does good in the two hole you want him there, he does bad in the two hole you wonder why barney isnt in the two hole. I swear sometimes you guys post just to post.

    1. ferrets_bueller

      I dont think there is anyone who thinks that Campana shouldnt be in the 2 hole while saying Barney should.
      Because the (intelligent) argument is the same for both of them- neither has shown the ability to get on base at a high enough rate to justify batting at the top of the order.

      1. drew

        Bingo

    2. calicubsfan007

      Since I am still relatively new here, I again will make my sentiments known. I love scrappy players, always have. There, I said it. I will always hold Campy close to my heart.

      1. Cubbie Blue

        “calicubsfan007″ – You wouldn’t have the last name of Bond, would you? I am also a 007.

        1. calicubsfan007

          I wish! It would be awesome to be related to mr bond.

        2. calicubsfan007

          In the metaphorical sense, of course.

  11. Jay Anderson Jr

    Lebron Scores 32 in 3 quarters in a blowout.
    Bulls season is basicly over(Even though I hate Rose, but I would beat the Bulls with him, then have him hurt)
    If the Cubs win, today will be a good day.

    1. epic

      I would love to see your profile. every comment you make just makes me want to smack you.

  12. Njriv

    The respect i had for you Jay Anderson has completely vanished

  13. morgan

    i want to see campana in the lineup every game, along with bjackson and rizzo

  14. Zogie

    What was Barney trying to do in that last AB? the first pitch he chased the second he grounded into a double play. He needs to lay off those pitches because he had no chance to do anything with them.

    1. drew

      He was being Darwin Barney…allergic to deep counts

  15. morgan

    if wells throws well, he has to be considered to take volstad place in the rotation

    1. Kyle

      I don’t think one start should be enough to change their minds, but then again that’d be one more good start than Volstad has put together, and they are pretty close to interchangeable.

      Mostly, what irks me is that we have to make the choice at all. In a season where we aren’t trying and have a ton of upside starters who need MLB innings to prove themselves, we don’t need Maholm and Dempster soaking up starts.

      1. morgan

        nevermind, this is just a horrible outing, hit and walked the pitcher in back to back innings

        1. calicubsfan007

          Agreed. Thought that Wells was going to do better than this…. Really disappointing….

  16. Kyle

    Looking forward to hearing why these runs don’t really count against Wells.

    1. djriz

      maybe because he was hungover.

    2. drew

      At least one person will say it was because Campana didnt start.

  17. Ramy16

    Fucking Randy wells sucks!!! Walk the fucking pitcher! This team sucks! I couldn’t watch it anymore!

  18. calicubsfan007

    I am so excited that we are finally able to see Castillo this season. Although he hasn’t had any hits yet, this is a good experience for him. And LaHair continues to crush the hell out of the ball. The Cubs just had a bad 4th, they can still win this.