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chase fieldFirst with the thing that catches your eye immediately: in the midst of serious trade rumors and the front office discussing possible options with Alfonso Soriano, he is not in tonight’s lineup. Before you run wild with conclusions (though some wondering is warranted), consider that the Cubs face a righty tonight, and David DeJesus is back. That means that, unless Junior Lake was going to be benched, one of Soriano, DeJesus, or Nate Schierholtz was going to have to sit. Given everything going on, Soriano probably made the most sense regardless of a trade. Soriano has good career numbers against Ian Kennedy, apparently, but sample size and all that. The official word is that this is just a day off for Soriano.

Should you be on alert for a trade? Maybe. But, even if Soriano sitting is tied to a possible deal, that doesn’t mean the deal will actually get done. (But, you know, Bro Hug Alert.)

Not to be lost in the above: David DeJesus is back, and he’s back a little earlier than expected. Obviously his shoulder strain was feeling good, and it’s nice to see him back in the lineup. Junior Lake stays up, as expected, and Dave Sappelt has been sent back to Iowa (again, as expected).

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (44-54) at Arizona Diamondbacks (52-48), 8:40 CT on CSN+.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. 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

Jeff Samardzija (6-9, 3.91 ERA, 3.66 FIP)

versus

Ian Kennedy (3-7, 5.29 ERA, 4.62 FIP)

Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup

1. Adam Eaton, CF

2. Gerardo Parra, RF

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Eric Chavez, 3B

5. Martin Prado, 2B

6. Jason Kubel, LF

7. Wil Nieves, C

8. Didi Gregorius, SS

9. Ian Kennedy, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Junior Lake, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Luis Valbuena, 3B

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • ssckelley

    Dang, I do wish Lake was batting leadoff though.

    Oh well, at least he is still in the lineup.

  • Cheese Chad

    I liked the lake/castro combo at the top. Maybe ease Dejesus back by putting him 7th or 8th. But what do I know, I only played high school SS until I was 16. Apparently less pedigree than Sveum.

    • CubFan Paul

      Apparently.

    • Cubes

      what do I know I only played MLB the show… also I post on a message board. pompously. and I throw balls.

      • Jason

        I wish The Show would update the roster more than once a week.

    • Patrick

      I liked that combo as well but I’ve always thought Castro was a poor number 2 hitter. He’s not very good at moving runners over and doesn’t get on base at a high clip. Both are ideal for a 2 hitter. I hope one day he could become our 6 hitter in a solid lineup.

      • TWC

        “He’s not very good at moving runners over and doesn’t get on base at a high clip.”

        The former isn’t his job, and is mostly irrelevant; but, I agree that latter makes him a poor fit for the #2 spot. If we ever get some decent OPS guys in the lineup, Castro’s probably destined for #6.

        • Patrick

          I guess I just am a little fed up every time we lead off the game with a double and fail to move him over.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            In the long haul, you score more runs trying to drive the guy in than you do trying to push him over.

            The original idea was not entirely bad: swing for RF, and if you make an out, then at least the guy moves up a base. However, it rapidly devolved into “deliberately ground out to second” AND, of course, pitchers caught on and began throwing pitches that are tough to hit to RF.

            • SirCub

              Great article at FG today about Tori Hunter changing his approach in the 2-hole. The key, I think, is that he is intentionally hitting the ball on the ground and to the opposite field, rather than in the air and to his pull field. Both of which help to increase his BABIP and consequently his OBP, which is a good thing, regardless of moving the runners up.

  • Corey

    I’m high on lake, until I look at his BABIP.

    haha.

    • Crockett

      anything over .600 is VERY sustainable. Remember that.

      • Dougy D

        I believe the saying goes, “hit it where they ain’t”

      • Corey

        haha I mean, I guess.

        But all throughout the minors he was .350 ish.

    • Rebuilding

      Lake’s ability to bunt and speed should lead to a higher than average BABIP .330-.350 isn’t out of the question

      • Corey

        That’s exactly what he average in the minors.

  • RonJohn85

    I agree that DeJesus probably shouldn’t hit lead off. But, if he gets on, then Lake will have more RBI shots. You know who worries me lately, Rizzo!

  • Bsteady

    Why does Barney keep hitting in front of Castillo? Castillo is hitting like 30 or 40 points higher isn’t he?

    • Smitty

      That is the either the old, let the catcher not have to take off the “tools” too much in the first inning or two way of thinking, or the old, lets get another power hitter in the 2nd cleanup spot.

  • Bsteady

    Lake could hit 4th and break up Rizzo and Shierholtz

  • Crockett

    All I know is that when Travis Wood pitches, Barney should be batting 9th.

  • cubchymyst

    My guess is DeJesus leading off to give him as many at bats as possible to show teams he is back to full health.

  • mudge

    Maybe McKay ought to coach Lake up to be a center fielder. Maybe it’s the spot that actually make the most sense for him.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Yes… because the most likely scenario is that they haven’t been coaching him at all since he started wearing a Cubs uniform. “You haven’t done this before, kid, but… good luck out there on your own!”

    • cubs2003

      I’ve had the same thought. McKay seems to be pretty darn good at his job and if Lake can play CF consistently there might be something there.

    • Jason

      No Lake is not our future CF. That spot is Almora’s when he’s ready. My guess is that Lake will be a “super utility” guy.

      • Blublud

        Lake is not our future CF, he is our current OF. And Almora is not our future CF. I love Baez, but he not our future SS, 3B or anything else. Lake is a current OF, Almora is a current A baller. Simple as that.

        • Hansman1982

          That’s right, Campana is our future CF!!!!

  • ETS

    I really, really want to see
    WAR/$ for the duration of the contract on all contracts > 100m. I think Sori’s deal wouldn’t look as bad as people always say it is.

    • Hansman1982

      There’s a message board post on it from last winter. If I remember right, Sorianos was one of the better ones of the past few years and his closest competitor hasn’t done jack this year.

      • ETS

        [img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BP-LV4_CQAAnKPg.jpg:large[/img]

        • ETS

          since the whole picture doesn’t load on my screen here’s the link
          https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BP-LV4_CQAAnKPg.jpg:large

          • SirCub

            Nice. But those numbers are somewhat misleading. Arod’s definitely been the better player over that time period, with a 144 wRC+ to Soriano’s 110.

            Overall, Arod’s accumulated 49 WAR for a rate of 5.6m$/WAR and Soriano’s accrued 28.1 WAR for 4.8m$/WAR.

  • Chris

    I think almora fits the center fielder spot way more than lake does. Lake will definitely be a corner outfielder.

    • mudge

      Almora’s not here this year or next.

    • cub2014

      Almora is at least 2 years away Sweeney and. Lake will be our
      CF until then

    • Blublud

      It doesn’t matter what Almora fits. Lake is a Major Leaguer. Once Almora gets there, then we’ll worry about it.

  • Cheryl

    If Soriano is traded it will probably mark the culmination of an era – players that were mostly identified with Hendry as GM will have left. What is taking place now is the construction of a new team and a new era. There has been a lot of criticism of Soriano over time but if he decides to go ahead with the trade I wish him a lot of luck in New York!

    • True(ly) Blue

      The Shark was a Hendry pick. Not to shabby! (Now I know why everyone calls him Shark. I can’t spell his name.)

  • Die hard

    Castro is not 5th type hitter

  • dash

    A better lineup would be:
    1. Lake
    2. Castro
    3. Rizzo
    4. Lake
    5. Lake
    6. Lake
    7. Lake
    8. Lake
    9. Samardzija

    • Alex S.

      Needs more Valbuena.

      • Eternal Pessemist

        Needs more cowbell.

  • Josh

    Cubs den saying source told them 75% chance he is traded tonight

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer on Soriano…

    Sori says Yankees on list of acceptable teams for trade that he gave Theo.
    3:58pm – 24 Jul 13

    • cub2014

      I think sori and a 3b are gone and the Olt
      Era starts this week.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    3 players in Yanks system to keep your eyes on in Soriano deal – RHP Kahnle, LHP Enns, or C O’Brien. Could be Soriano and Ransom for two of these or just Soriano for one of these.

    • Jp3

      That’s the catcher o’brien and not the pitcher right?

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        Yup the catcher.

        • Jp3

          Yeah, the catching prospect is a bit more intriguing than the list of relief pitchers that’s been thrown around. I’m all for pitching but I’d rather get a solid SP prospect that can be converted into a reliever because relievers don’t generally workout as starters if that makes any sense.

  • Pingback: Alfonso Soriano Gave Cubs a List of Approved Trade Partners and the Yankees Are on It | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

  • Rebuilding

    Vitters in LF and Olt at 3b for Iowa tonight. I see the rainouts for Daytona have also started

  • 5412

    Hi,

    I really like DeJesus. I hope they do not trade him. While he is not HOF, he is pretty solid. Brett, please convey to Hoyer if he trades DeJesus he better get a boatload of good guys back or I am going to get pissed.

    The only reason to trade DeJesus, who is affordable and under contract for another year is to get a stud with more upside than DeJesus is showing us currently.

    regards,
    5412

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Javy HR.

  • Dustin S

    Curse you milb.tv…want to see Olt tonight and the stream isn’t working. Maybe it’s overloaded with people thinking the same…

  • Rebuilding

    Olt with a K swinging in his 1st AB. Vitters with another hit

  • Rebuilding

    Baker getting knocked around a bit at Kane Co. again

  • Dean

    They will find a spot for Baez. The guy will be playing either 2nd, SS, or 3rd this time next year…after the trade deadline. IMO, of the big four, he’s got the highest chance of dominating at the ml level. Just needs to bring down the k’s some, like he did at A+, and become more consistent on the field.

  • WI Jeff

    At single A Kane co game. Baker looks like his velocity is way down. More than 5 mph. It is Bp fastballs. Not holding runners. 5 hits of Baker and 3 runs in bottom of 3rd. Ugh. Not 5th starter this year.

  • Rebuilding

    Garza: 4.1 IP, 3H, 0BB, 4K so far against the Yankees

  • waittilthisyear

    how long until i can freak out about lake? another double

    • baldtaxguy

      100 PA’s the minimum threshold. Until then, sit stone-faced.

  • Rebuilding

    The Tim Hudson injury tonight was gruesome. Hard to watch

  • Deacon

    Guessing they’ll be in on Peavy even heavier now

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