Five-Man Rotation for the Cubs, Who Gets Bounced, Hamels Excited, Cubs Still Looking, and Other Bullets

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Five-Man Rotation for the Cubs, Who Gets Bounced, Hamels Excited, Cubs Still Looking, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Family is going to a “creeking” event today. So that’ll be wild. I gotta figure out what shoes to wear so I don’t become the “ha ha look at that dad who totally wiped out” guy.

  • The Cubs have decided to go with a five-man rotation after Cole Hamels arrives, though they aren’t yet saying which five it will be and how they will get there ( The options are pretty simple, though: either someone goes on the disabled list, or Mike Montgomery or Tyler Chatwood is bounced to the bullpen. And I do wonder if Theo Epstein hinted at the answer when discussing why the wanted to make the trade for a starting pitcher: “We’re one injury away from being in a really tough spot. Some of the injuries we’ve had, some of the struggles we’ve had in certain areas and Monty’s innings becoming an issue as you go deeper and deeper in the season, we felt it would be irresponsible not to add one starting pitcher.”
  • I’m now tentatively expecting Montgomery to move back into the bullpen, with an understanding that he’ll get more starts this year at some point. Perhaps not an explicit six-man rotation, but a turn or two in August during long stretches so the Cubs can get a little extra rest.
  • The rub with Montgomery as a starter showed last night: he’s a guy who allows a lot of balls in play, and they won’t always find gloves. I still like him as a starter, but I also don’t want to act like there aren’t some limitations.
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
  • If that’s how it plays out, then we will all just have to continue to be befuddled by what has happened to Tyler Chatwood, and also how he keeps getting starts. After an early-season stretch that saw him wild-as-hell but still getting decent results in short outings, here’s what Chatwood has done in his last 11 starts: 6.53 ERA, 51.0 innings, 16.6% K rate, 20.2% BB rate. It’s madness to keep giving him starts right now. I understand there are limits to what the Cubs can do with a guy in the first year of a three-year contract, especially if you believe in the talent, but at some point – at least within a given season – you’re just falling on hope, rather than prudence. And hope is not a strategy.
  • Cole Hamels is excited to come to the Cubs, which is certainly nice to hear when a guy gets traded midseason outside of his own control ( “I’m excited to be able to continue my baseball career with the Cubs. It’s been a dream come true to grow up watching the Cubs play as a kid. Always enjoyed playing at Wrigley, so I think to be able to be a part of that organization with the group of guys that they have, I’m really excited to get that started and head into the postseason with those guys …. Especially in that city, they love baseball so much, it will be a tremendous journey for the next couple months.”
  • In case you were wondering whether Hamels is definitely the Cubs’ last move, Theo Epstein says “not necessarily” ( “We’re still out looking, and we’ll be there until the last minute before the Deadline. There’s only so many opportunities to get better, and it’s harder after July 31.” Good! We need that for the BN Blogathon! (We’re getting so close to the $12,000 goal for Make-A-Wish, so if you haven’t donated, please consider it!)
  • Best guess, of course, is that the Cubs keep scouring the loaded relief market for a good deal.
  • The Brewers won again last night, so they’re back within a game and a half of the Cubs. They also made a bold trade overnight, landing third baseman Mike Moustakas, and planning to move Travis Shaw to second base (where he’s never played). Obviously I’m rooting for a glorious disaster there, but it would be very Brewers to move some giant dude who’s never played second base and find that he’s a Gold Glover over there for inexplicable reasons.
  • A really interesting piece at FanGraphs on the impact Bryce Harper’s down season has had on the Nationals and on his ZiPS projections (and contract) going forward.
  • Holy smokes, what a catch:

  • More on the woeful state of the Mets organization:

  • Seriously adulting Deals of the Day at Amazon today, with a heating pad, diaper bag, tea kettle, and vacuum getting the call.
  • META: we are in the process of moving The Ten-Yard Line to sub-site on Bleacher Nation, where it will become “Bleacher Nation Bears.” You won’t notice anything different here at the main page, but for those of you who are TYL readers, I wanted to give the heads up (within a couple days – hopefully – you’ll be auto-redirected from to There are a couple reasons for the move: (1) there are logistical needs that didn’t exist when we created TYL that make it much easier for us for the site to live under BN, and (2) we always called TYL “Bleacher Nation for Bears,” and it started to feel like it was silly not to just be explicit about that. The coverage and content at Bleacher Nation Bears will be identical to that of TYL. New name and new physical address, but otherwise, it’s all the same.

Author: Brett Taylor

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