Cubs Starting Depth Taking Hits, Monty-Vogey, Maldonado, Strop, Lester, Kimbrel, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Starting Depth Taking Hits, Monty-Vogey, Maldonado, Strop, Lester, Kimbrel, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs Highlights, Chicago Cubs News

Today is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, which is STILL an absolutely mindboggling technological achievement when you think about it. And the fact that they pulled it off 50 years ago? Just incredible.

Also, you say these things to a guy like Buzz Aldrin and you’ve earned it:

Meanwhile …

  • Adbert Alzolay has officially been put on the Injured List at Iowa, as expected, with biceps inflammation. For now, we’re not going to have any more information than that – just the way minor league injuries are – and we’ll just have to await an official update from the team (gulp) or him getting back on the mound in a couple weeks (dream scenario).
  • It is certainly interesting how quickly the Cubs’ starting pitching depth changed in a single week. From having four guys as the 6th starter (Adbert Alzolay, Mike Montgomery, Tyler Chatwood, Alec Mills) to having just the latter two. I’m still not *terribly* concerned, because I do expect Cole Hamels to be back in a couple weeks, and I also think Chatwood and Mills are capable fill-in starters. There is also the reality that, among depth starter types, the Cubs have interesting guys like Colin Rea and Tyson Miller who could maybe surprise for a start or two if necessary. There’s also the reality that Iowa is overflowing with borderline breakout big league arm types, so if the Cubs had to do some bullpen games and rapidly rotate guys in and out, they could do it.
  • Don’t get me wrong, having sure-fire top prospect starters as depth at AAA is the best salve, and the Cubs don’t have that. And there are certainly reasons to be nervous about what would happen if the Cubs had a couple injuries in the rotation. But that’s every team in baseball. So when you’re talking about catastrophe scenarios, the Cubs are not *terribly* poorly positioned (no team will look “good” if you chop away two of their starting pitchers!).
  • Oh, and further depth at AA: Alex Lange was a late scratch yesterday for reasons unknown, and Thomas Hatch is also not making his scheduled start today. Could these things be trade related? Always possible this time of year, but I tend to think first about injuries.
  • Speaking of the lost depth, Mike Montgomery started for the Royals last night … and he got smacked around in two innings of work. It’s probably going to take him some time to get back into the starting mindset, and the Royals got him more for next year than for this year anyway.
  • Bonus factoid: today is the anniversary of the Cubs’ Montgomery trade, which sent this big boy over to the Mariners:

  • My God, this is art:

  • We aren’t used to seeing something like that since the days of David Ross and Miguel Montero. I have missed it. Please impart your wisdom on Willy and Vic, Martin.
  • I love Pedro Strop, but right now, he simply cannot be the 8th inning setup man. His velocity is not there, and his command is even worse. His first pitch yesterday might have been one of the worst pitches of his career: facing a young pinch hitting slugger in a one-run game, Strop threw a first-pitch 94mph fastball that bled right down main street. In that situation to that hitter, there is absolutely nothing else he’s looking for:

  • Hopefully it’s just a matter of Strop needing more time to get back to where he needs to be after the hamstring injuries, but, while he’s getting there, he cannot be in a position to risk these games.
  • I cannot believe Jon Lester was permitted to face Manny Machado in this situation in the 6th inning of a perversely hot and humid day, near 100 pitches, but the thing is, he’s Jon BDJ Lester and he just gets it done:

  • Speaking of BD moments, when you consider this is a young hitter, with the tying run on base, with two outs and a 3-2 count, this is just such an un-freaking-fair pitch:

  • Like that kid is going to be looking for anything other than 97 mph in the zone. Sorry, buddy. You had no chance.
  • Speaking of Padres kiddos, they are calling up a pair of top 50 prospects today in infielder Luis Urias and pitcher Adrian Morejon.
  • Oh, and speaking of Kimbrel closing that out … Kimbrel throwing to Maldonado to finish off a Cubs win. What would you have thought of that if you knew it was happening in July back in, say, April. You’d be like, WTF? Love having these guys around.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.