cubs social media nightIt’s Social Media Night at Wrigley Field, and, since I do a little bit of social media’ing, I’m headed there early-ish. I hope to see many of you there – I’ll be the kinda short guy in a blue BN shirt, jeans, and blue/yellow shoes (that are awesome).

As for the game, Dale Sveum decided to say the hell with it, and tossed out a crazy lineup.

… or did he? At this point in the year, given their struggles, why not just let Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo get as many plate appearances as possible? They can work on things before the season ends, and maybe head into the offseason with some confidence. To that end, they’re batting 1-2 tonight, and that’s just fine with me.

Jake Arrieta gets the start in his try-out for the rotation next year. So far, so good.

Game Info

Washington Nationals (61-64) at Chicago Cubs (54-71), 7:05 CT on WGN.

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

Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 1.85 ERA, 2.89 FIP)


Jake Arrieta (2-2, 4.91 ERA, 4.40 FIP (Cubs and O’s combined, because why not?))

Washington Nationals Lineup

(This is last night’s lineup, which will undoubtedly change. I had to head out, so if someone could helpfully post the lineup in the comments when it comes out, I’d be much obliged.)

1. Bryce Harper, CF

2. Ian Desmond, SS

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Jayson Werth, RF

5. Wilson Ramos, C

6. Tyler Moore, 1B

7. Anthony Rendon, 2B

8. Scott Hairston, LF

9. Ross Ohlendorf, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Starlin Castro, SS

2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

3. Junior Lake, CF

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Donnie Murphy, 3B

6. Brian Bogusevic, LF

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Jake Arrieta, P

  • Required

    Ok BNers. I know it’s a moot point but does anyone see Sveum catching some heat for leaving Russell in there? Strop was the man for Hairston. Oh well at least Rizzo and Baez had monster nights.

    • Jeff

      Heat???? Sveum is Mr. Tephlon with the Theo and Jed fanatics on here lol.

      • caryatid62

        I think people just prefer not to overreact to every decision made by a manager.

        Complaining about managers is the most boring and lazy things fans have done since the dawn of professional sports.

    • another JP

      When Baez and Bryant join the Cubs it will totally transform the offense. Putting three 25+ homer guys in the heart of the order will change this ho-hum team into group worth watching. 2015 will be the year we start kicking ass.

      • caryatid62

        That assumes that (a) both Baez and Bryant are ready to play in the majors by mid-2014 (which isn’t all that likely, at least not for both), (b) they’ve adjusted to the major league level by 2015, and (c) the Cubs are able to somehow (through FA or trade) acquire a legitimate #1 and possibly #2 starter.

        Still a lot of ifs for this organization. A lot.

        • Kyle

          IF (and this is a huge if) the power starts to come out of the minors like it should, then you can get by without a true No. 1.

      • Sean T

        Even if Baez or Bryant join the Cubs in 2015, I think there is a big adjustment/learning period for both in the ML. I would expect either to crush it or transform the roster as rookies but more or less show flashes. I think more 2017 is when you’ll see them kicking ass IF they both pan out.

        Not trying to be a bummer but more of a realist

        • Kyle

          Talents like Baez adjust quickly. He’s done it twice already this year.

          • hookersorcake

            Yeah seeing what Baez is doing in AA at 20 has lifted his floor tremendously.
            Sure he’s still K-ing way too much, but even that has gotten better. As has his defense. He’s really blooming better than we could imagine.
            Of course this terrifies a true Cubs fan.

        • another JP

          This Baez & Bryant aren’t your ordinary prospects. We’ll have to just wait and see, but I’m betting both will be successful as soon as they’re called up. Each of them wants to get to Chicago like right now- which is a lot different than those that are just trying to improve at the level they’re at. IMO both could hit major league pitching consistently today.

  • willis

    Is it safe to say that Russell has lost it completely and is done? He gets railed every time he’s in now. Add him to the scrap heap.

    Need new LH bullpen arms for next season. Rosscup is one, need one more.

  • willis

    Oh yeah can we end the Rondon experience too? He is also one that gets smoked every time he pitches.

    • Jason P

      I’ve been saying dump Rondon for a while now. Not worth it to keep him around anymore on the major league roster anymore so he can go be the new Marcos Mateo or Rafael Dolis in AAA next year. We already have plenty of live arms with no command. He’ll be 26 when next year starts, so it’s not like he’s just some young guy with time to figure it out.

  • Patrick G

    Harold Reynolds on MLBN just said due to Jason Heyward injury they should try and get Schierholtz. He wouldn’t even pass through waivers right?

    • Sean T

      I don’t think Nate Shierholtz would pass through waivers. Someone would block him and even if he passed through I doubt the Braves pay the Cubs asking price

  • Required

    I’m looking for Zastryny?? Sorry bout the spelling, to be pretty good. Got to see him in college. He can pitch.

    • Jeff

      I think him and Pierce Johnson will be pretty good pitchers for us, looking forward to watching their development. I hope they are in AA next year together at some point.

  • caryatid62

    All the Baez talk is great, but man, the major league team is utterly unwatchable.

    From the perspective of a fan, there is almost zero reason to even turn on a Cubs game, and there hasn’t been for almost 3 months. We all know there’s “the plan,” but in the meantime, there is no reason to pay even depressed prices for this product. What a terrible season at the major league level.

  • Jason P

    I love how a starter has to go 5 innings to qualify for a win. It’s like they’re trying to protect the integrity of the “win” stat.

  • jon

    I’m sorry but any pundit that would rank Lindor over Baez is an idiot

    • ari gold

      up until a month ago, I don’t know of a pundit that would rank Baez ahead of Lindor. And most are not going to let a month sway their judgement. They’re both studs

    • Drew7

      I think that’s a bit over-the-top.

  • someday…2015?

    Ugh, come on Rizzo. That can’t happen.

  • jon

    I don’t suppose Dale will chew out “the golden child” for that baserunning mistake , will he?

    • Kyle

      RIzzo’s way better at defense, but he’s been just as baserunning-mistakey as Castro.

      • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

        It’s amazing to me how young players still get called up to the bigs without learning fundamentals and baserunning skills in the minors. It’s like organization only care if you have an impact bat. Proof in Rizzo and Castro

        • jon

          The tieing run would have been on deck. You won’t hear Dale call out “the golden child” though , why he was just being aggressive

        • Jason P

          All young players are going to make mistakes, much more so on a team without an established veteran core. On the Rizzo play it’s hard to know what really happened. Was he sent by the third coach base then stopped at the last second? Did he slip trying to stop his momentum? I’d have to watch the replay to see if it was Rizzo’s fault.

      • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

        Rizzo is no angle defensively. He’s great at picking balls from the dirt but struggles being the cutoff man and handling bunts. Don’t get me wrong he does something’s great but he definitely has some stuff to work on

        • cubes

          yes he needs to work on his angles for sure

  • North Side Irish

    Patrick Mooney ‏@CSNMooney 3m
    While Rizzo/Castro talk dominates Wrigley, Cubs are said to be eyeing a run at Shin-Soo Choo this winter:

    • Jason P

      Depends on the years. He shouldn’t be stepping anywhere near a batters box with a lefty on the mound, and those splits will only get worse with age. Tough to pay over $10 million a year for a platoon player.

      • hansman1982

        As a leadoff guy he still has a damn good OBP against LHP. I would LOVE to have Choo on the team.

        And JP, Choo > Sweeney

        • Jason P

          But it comes with no semblance of hitting ability or power. I don’t want a guy with a .538 OPS against lefties out there facing lefties. About 30% of ABs league wide come vs. lefties, and it’s even more for Choo because teams match up late in games.

          Some team is going to pony up $15 per year over 4 years. That’s way too much for a guy at the tail end of his prime who should really be a platoon player.

          3 years/39 million would be a fair offer, but that won’t do it.

    • another JP

      Dumb move by the Cubs if they do it. Sweeney can be resigned at much less than Choo and produce just as well if he platoons with Lake.

      • Kyle

        No, he can’t.

        • another JP

          Ah, sure he can. The only time Sweeney was given consistent ABs that ever approached the PAs that Choo has had was in 2008/2009 with the A’s & he put up WAR #s of 2.1 & 3.9. Everybody and their brother bashed Theo for going after Schierholtz this winter and all he’s going to do is put up 3 WAR in ~470 PAs @ only $2.25M. It’s not going to take all that much to sign Sweeney- he can give the Cubs just about what Nate’s doing this year with the same PAs/$$. If the Cubs want Choo they get to deal with Boras again & get ready for Michael Bourne 2.0… he’ll want a team to sign a 31 y/o Choo for at least 4/5 yrs @ $15M AAV. If the FO is going after Choo it wouldn’t make any sense unless they also snagged Cano to take Barney’s place at 2nd base. Why spend an extra $12M/yr. for MAYBE an additional win or two in 2014… it would make more sense by 2015.

      • hansman1982

        Choo would be a fantastic leadoff guy with his *drool* career .385 OBP *drools some moar*. His “god-awful” splits still give him a .335 OBP against LHP.

        • Sean T

          Yes Choo would be great on 2yr. and extra option yr deal but nothing more. if it takes a 4yr deal to sign him, no thanks

        • Drew7

          How much of that .335 is from HBP’s? You can’t expect those to continue.

  • North Side Irish ‏@MiLB 16m
    MUST-SEE MiLB.TV: #Cubs prospect @javy23baez caps his latest two-homer game for @smokiesbaseball.

    I know what I’ll be dreaming about tonight…

    • hansman1982

      A lineup of

      Good OBP guy

      Would be very obtainable next year AND catapult the team to serious playoff contender discussion.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        I think any chance of Stanton starting the year in the Cubs lineup would mean that Baez would be in Miami.

      • someday…2015?

        How about a September 14 lineup that looks like this?…
        1. Alcantara 2B
        2. Choo CF
        3. Rizzo 1B
        4. Abreu RF
        5. Baez 3B
        6. Lake LF
        7. Castro SS
        8. Castillo C
        That’s looks like a lineup that could compete.

        • Mr. B. Patient

          There is a more realistic chance for Bryant to be in RF.

          • someday…2015?

            I think you’re probably right about that. I just have a strange feeling that Abreu is the guy Theo and Jed have been waiting for, and they will do anything to get him. A man can dream.

            I like to dream that sometime in 2014/15 the lineup could look like…
            1. Alcantara 2B
            2. Choo/Ellsbury CF
            3. Abreu RF
            4. Bryant LF
            5. Baez 3B
            6. Rizzo 1B
            7. Castro SS
            8. Castillo C
            Not going to happen but it’s a fun thought.

            • Rudy

              IF we are dreaming here is my ideal 2015 line up:


              Castro and things traded after 2014 for price


              2016 same idea but if Almora, Soler, and Vogelbomb are ready, drop Choo and Lake and add DH


              Same staff basically and Lake traded for prospects.

              *Lol, just realized, The A-Team(!) to begin the lineup.

        • Sean T

          There is absolutely no way Jose Abreu can play in the OF. End of discussion. Guy can hit, but is athletic then Vogs