#Cubs lineup: Haren vs Cards

Dan Haren gets the start Monday when the Cubs begin a three-game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

La Stella 3B

Coghlan LF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant RF

Montero C

Castro 2B

Haren P

Russell SS

Tommy La Stella will be making his third start at third base while Kris Bryant will be making his third in right field. The Cardinals are starting Lance Lynn. Lefties are batting .263 vs Lynn, while right-handers are hitting .248.

This series is the beginning of an 11-game trip. Starting Monday, the Cubs will play 17 of their final 27 games away from Wrigley FIeld. The Cubs do have the second best road record in the NL at 35-29.


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Hey, Cubs fans. Would like to hear your thoughts on this topic, which came up last night on ESPN during the Pirates-Cardinals game: 40-man September rosters. The consensus was that this really isn’t major-league baseball, that a team that’s out of the playoffs can bring up 10 pitchers to throw in the same game against a contending team, and so on. An idea was: Okay, 40 men on the roster, but only, say, 27 can be used in any given September game. The manager would have to announce his roster, along with his lineup. Opinions?

Aloha Bruce, I have felt for some time that there should be a limit, meaning all teams could expand at most 3-5 players, so that would cover prospects getting a chance/look and if injuries are present folks to cover their spots. I think this would be more fair and not have the scenario you mentioned, throwing 10 different pitchers at a team that have not been scouted, etc. Now one can understand why they say certain teams under the current system can play the “spoiler.” Take care now. Mahalo!

Did not expect a game like that out of Haren. Awesome fun in St Louis.

Aloha Jasper- I know what you mean, I did not either but it reminded me of his 3rd year with the A’s, so kudo’s to him. The bullpen needed a rest and of all folks, he provided it! Plus he had timely hitting! Great for the young guys to see his approach at the plate, you know Addison loved it! Then to see Haren get a sac fly later in the game, wow! Also thought La Stella made a great play at 3rd to stop a Cardinals rally when they had bases loaded and 1 out. Castro also made a nice place off of a grounder that Russell fielded for a double play,the runner was coming hard into second and Castro hung in there to get the throw to Rizzo who also made a nice catch on the other end. Great effort by the team today. Where were you seated? Take care now. Mahalo!

K.g. The game was awesome. Unexpected Haren outing, lead off hr by Fowler and 9-0 score.
Following the game my wife and I went to eat at a steak place named Carmines. Sitting in the back room was Rizzo, Bryant, Fowler, Russell and Baez. Of course I did not bother them.
CJ Edwards was seated with his family after his first ML appearance.
Joe Maddon walked by our table going to the back room. I put up my fist, said nice game, he gave a fist bump saying thanks.
Then leaving we spotted Arietta. He spoke with us a few minutes and signed a Dollar bill with a red sharpie.
Fun day in St Louis for a polite and respectful old Cub fan.

Yes, k.g. Jasper should attend more games. He`s the Cubs` `lucky charm.` It`s high time Haren gave us a strong outing, and is no good reason why he can`t do so consistently in the future. I heard parts of the ESPN radio broadcast with Jon Sciambi and Ken Singleton, and they praised La Stella highly for that grab you referenced to help prevent a Redbird rally. They also singled out Starlin for his turns at second base to help complete those two double plays. I`m thinking games like today`s in which the Cards were `blown out,` have been few and far between in 2015, as the Redbirds have been the winningest team in the majors, and being embarrassed is `foreign` to that organization. I endorse what `Pajama Joe` suggests; let`s play like this again tomorrow.

Boy, has Dexter Fowler turned it on in the second half or what? What a catalyst he is. Completely turned me around from thinking of who will be next year’s center fielder to thinking he is well worth a contract offer to remain a Cub considering there is no lights out center fielder in the minors that may be ready next year to do what Fowler can do. He may be the best option to bridge a gap to the next phenom in a few years, similar to Montero behind the plate??

Agreed fonzie. I was very critical of Fowler in a post in late June, or was it early July? Said a lead off batter is expected to make contact and get on base by any means on a consistent basis etc. and so forth, and stated clearly that Dexter was `not that guy.`Dexter`s skipper recently praised the centerfielder as a `prime mover` in the Cubs` recent resurgence. As you just observed, he`s turned his season around after the All Star break, and I`m more than happy to `eat crow` with regard to Dexter Fowler, and want to see him back in 2016. Also, Dexter`s season of famine to feast is more evidence that the baseball season is a marathon, and not a sprint.

jhosk, sometimes a player needs a certain “special” season to drive him to his full potential. This season, especially this second half could be that “special” season for Fowler allowing him to come into his own at the right time at the right age. The downside is he will be a very attractive free agent to most teams looking to upgrade if not contend next season. No slam dunk he returns. Hopefully if we make the playoffs it will make him think of returning for more…if we don’t make the playoffs, or if we don’t get deep into the playoffs (SP….sigh??) it will leave an impression of “unfinished business” for what has become a pretty special team with him being an integral part.

Joeyduhfish, of course it depends oh fowler demands. From the Cubs view, why lock up a position with more prospects on the way? Great year for fowler but I don’t see him coming back.

Hitler, you see very little if anything and who gives a crap who you see returning or not? One with an open mind (this eliminates you, Mein Fuhrer) may actually WANT to lock up a position with a player of Fowlers skills especially after proving to be such an important player in the MANAGER’S view. You? You have no relevant view. There are no prospects on the way for center field that are a certainty. Outfield prospects that are on the way can play LF and RF should Fowler return or be included in a trade for some high caliber pitching, or contribute on a rotating basis as Maddon is prone to due. Whatever makes the team stronger but you can’t see that? A strong 2016 team may very well include Fowler. Maddon has time and time again stated how important Fowler has been, especially on a team already comprised of numerous rookies. At 29 years old Fowler would be a most welcome 3-5 year player as he enters his early 30’s and may quite possibly get stronger when it comes to driving the ball. But glad you typically weaseled your way into my comment to jhosk. Whatever Hitler wants Hitler TAKES. I think I am beginning to see more clearly White’s disdain for you and the reason White thinks you are a thug and bully…you are. Whoever is your fantasy “Joey”? More power to him. You do not represent the “Cubs’ view” in any way shape or form yet you have the inherent disregard and audacity to think so. You are, on this blog the very definition of disrespect. Notice all the comments so far in this subject? YOUR’S was the FIRST to introduce something disrespectful with your “joeyDUHfish” reference and reply to me as if I don’t exist. If not for your disrespectful and spiteful comment…this is a nice and courteous discourse. You enter the chat room and all goes back to Nazi Germany. Nice job ASSper BAGgs. All because YOU don’t like the idea that Fowler might be a nice answer to center field for a few years to come? What a sack O’ nasty you are. I hope we don’t see you coming back. You are the one that should not be brought back…am I right? Of course I am. FONZIE.

its going to come down to money and money alone…. Fowler won’t be giving a discount in my opinion.

I would rather have Price than Fowler and I don’t see us being able to have both.

I would love to keep Fowler around with his bat at the top of the order for the next 3 years. I don’t think I could realistically do more than that. Remember the bad stretch he went through in june and july…. was it a fluke? will it surface again or maybe longer? IDK…

Its my guess we put a qualifying offer on Fowler and he doesn’t take it and we at least get a compensation pick for him.

I also don’t see where jasper was rude or disrespectful in any way. And this isn’t a chat room…. its commenting on a blog. Not the same thing.

He continues to call me by other names and on top of that spells those other names in a demeaning fashion. You do not think that is disrespectful petrey10?
I see your point about my chat room reference, my bad. I see NO reason for him to have commented to ME using the name “joeyduhfish” unless he wanted to create conflict, what I think is his primary reason for the comment.
Back to Fowler…I agree no discount will be given but not all players can be cut from the same cloth as Andre Dawson. I too would prefer three years but even at five years he would only be 34 at the close of the contract, still a viable and productive age but again, three years is preferable in my opinion. I do remember his bad stretch of the season, that is something to consider but I would lean toward that is an anomaly and he has, as I suggested to jhosk “come into his own” this particular part of this particular season. All in all I would prefer Fowler next season over a rookie or the compensation pick. Unless of course the rookie is of the same caliber as Schwarber, Bryant or Russell. I don’t think that player is in the system close enough to take the major league center field position. Maybe Almora? You think petrey10? Fowler has some proven value to this team and I think at the least will get the qualifying offer you predict.

I can appreciate this post. Its great when we can all eat some crow at some point as we all have….

Don’t look now but Starlin Castro is hitting .313 in his last 80 at bats… with a nice 760ish OPS……… I’ll start marinating the crow for your 2nd meal. LOL

^in reply to Jhosk

petrey10, it’s as if Maddon knew EXACTLY what Castro needed to help the young man regain his hitting stroke. Maddon is doing such a fine job considering how playing time is so important to so many of the rookies and at the same time not alienating a five year yet still young “veteran” player like Castro.

Trying to use phone, but petrey10 don’t you think three years might be to long? I too hope for the qualifying offer. The third year he may be valuable off the bench.
As you said it will be all about the money

First things first… Almora the answer? NO not in 2016. Odds are not ever but he did have a fine 2nd half this year and finally became relevant again. But he has struggled at every level and this was the first time he really has had a good year. Im skeptical. But his defense is great. His bat is not a leadoff type (bottom of the order) and his speed is average. I don’t see it as a great fit.

Fowler- I would love for Fowler to take the QO…. which would be right around 15million next year….. BUT Fowler in my opinion won’t take the risk and go find the highest bidding long term deal. Is 3 yrs too long? No not in my opinion the market will have a couple 5 yr offers and maybe someone goes more. But I would pay a higher per year amount if he took a 3 yr deal. That would give us 3 years to find our replacement and still allow Fowler to be plenty tradable if need be. Honestly, I’d pay 3 years 50-58mill today for him. We don’t have many leadoff options. Lets be honest. For this club going forward thats going to be a huge need.

I like your train of thought petrey10, not minding the bigger bucks per year and keeping some options open in the event of Almora or another player acquired somehow can do the job. But I do like Fowler and you are right…as of now he or someone similar (or better) will be need again for the next few years. The Cubs could do a lot worse than paying Fowler a lot of money. If the Market does offer him a few 5 year deals we may then in fact lose him. But we don’t know Fowler so…maybe there remains a chance he would like to stay in this young, winning environment the Cubs are building.

I’ve been saying all year that Fowler has not been as bad as his numbers seemed and it’s only a matter of time before he starts to rebound back towards his career mean. But even I was starting to doubt that statement at one point, I think when his average sunk to below .230 for a day or two! Anyway, enjoy Fowler while you can because he’s not coming back next season. Both Patrick Mooney and Jon Heyman reported last week that the Cubs will extend a qualifying offer to Fowler this offseason. And while that might be just them trying to cover their bases, I think it’s also a good indication that Fowler is going to get a pretty decent multi-year offer from somewhere other than Chicago. When you look at some of the names on his similar batters list, you can get an idea of what the ballpark figure may be: Brett Gardner (4/52) & Angel Pagan (4/40). I’ll also throw Michael Bourn (4/48) into the mix because he was another recent leadoff hitter who went into free agency going into his age 30 season. I would say Gardner’s 4 yr./$52 mil. is probably the best comp and wouldn’t be surprised if Fowler gets a similar offer from somewhere other than the Cubs.
As mentioned above, you have to take into account what you think Fowler will do over the life of that contract and what you plan on doing with the rest of your payroll this offseason. Both Pagan and Bourn did not live up to their contracts, so you have to use them as a precautionary tale. Plus, if you have aspirations of signing David Price (which I would) or one of the other big pitchers on the market (which I would consider if Price isn’t in play for the Cubs), then you’ll have to manage your budget carefully, and throwing some money at Fowler might hurt your chances of getting a bigger fish like Price.
Lastly, someone mentioned Andre Dawson above and his famous blank check signing with the Cubs. While it’s a fun story to tell, please keep in mind that it was 1987, 28 years ago now, and the way both players and mgmt approach the game today is totally different. First of all, in 1987 the top players in the game weren’t making much more than a veteran utility player would make today. Secondly, if a player were to pull an Andre Dawson and go to a single team and say pay me anything you want, not only would the player never be represented by a professional agent ever again, but the players’ union would probably not be terribly happy either. Lastly, the idea of a “hometown discount” is really a misnomer. Players might favor a certain team or city on the open market, but they still want to be paid within the ballpark of their own projected value. So a player could take less money than was offered elsewhere to play on a team they would really love to play on, but that doesn’t mean they’ll take significantly less. So if Fowler is getting a bunch of offers in the 4/52 range and the Cubs come in at 3/36, as much as he might want to stay in Chicago, if the 4/52s are in a place he wouldn’t mind playing, then I’d have to say he’d be more likely to reject the Cubs offer. Of course these numbers are all speculation, but I definitely wouldn’t count on a “hometown discount” as being a way you can keep Fowler without paying him in the ballpark of his open market value.
Now lastly for real, if not Fowler in 2016, what would the Cubs do in center? MATT SZCZUR, of course!!! But in all seriousness, 2016 could be another one-year stop-gap in center until Albert Almora or Billy McKinney are ready, or to see how quickly Ian Happ can rise through the ranks? An under-the-radar free agent signing? A trade to bring in someone else for just a year? Kris Bryant (he does have SOME experience in center this season!)? Alcantara again? His AAA teammate John Andreoli? Starlin Castro? Okay, why not…. Matt Szczur? Overall, I like Fowler and I wouldn’t mind if he’s back for 2016, but his second-half resurgence might have guaranteed that he will get a few pretty good offers from other teams. Let’s just hope he helps make it a memorable 2015 playoffs and that the Cubs make a good selection with their Comp Round draft pick next year!

Agree with Doug. petrey10 also stated it would be all about money on Fowler.
It would be nice to see him back, but I just don’t see it.
As fast as Schwarber and Russell were promoted, McKinney may make the team by next May. Almora if his injuries are behind him. As Doug said, how long before Happ, Andreoli, maybe even Dewees? Who knows?

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