Cubs @ Dodgers August 4, 2012: Volstad vs Kershaw

August 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

Nothing new on the Cliff Lee front today, as you might have figured. The Phillies have pulled him back off waivers, which only means is that he won’t just be handed to the Dodgers for nothing; the two teams have until tomorrow afternoon to work out a deal, but let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that it’s just not going to happen.

The Philadelphia pitcher the Dodgers did acquire yesterday, Joe Blanton, has been added to the active roster. As expected, Stephen Fife heads back to Albuquerque to make room. I shed no tears for Fife, who got three more starts than we would have otherwise expected and probably earned himself a trip back to the bigs in September. Blanton fills the final empty spot on the 40-man roster, so any further additions will require a move. (He will make his Dodger debut tomorrow afternoon, per Dylan Hernandez.)

Cubs
Dodgers
SS
Castro
LF
Victorino
2B
Barney
2B
M.Ellis
1B
Rizzo
CF
Kemp
LF
Soriano
RF
Ethier
RF
Baker
SS
Ramirez
C
Castillo
1B
Loney
CF
Mather
3B
Hairston
3B
Valbuena
C
A.Ellis
P
Volstad
P
Kershaw

Other than Jerry Hairston at third base in place of Luis Cruz, the Dodger lineup remains the same against Chicago, and that means Twitter star A.J. Ellis is still hitting eighth. I suppose that’s to be expected, given Don Mattingly’s season-long comments on the subject and that there’s a tendency not to fix something that clearly wasn’t broken last night. That said, when can we admit that Mark Ellis just might not be all that great at the top of the order or against righty pitching? He’s hitting only .239/.302/.341 since his return from the DL a month ago and just .205/.305/.240 against righty pitching this year; his career OPS against righties is just barely over .700, but won’t be much longer at this rate. I’m not saying he should be benched right now or anything, because his defense is still top-rate, just that this idea that “veteran second basemen hit second because that’s what veteran second basemen do” isn’t exactly what seems to be best for the team.

Then again, considering that the Cubs are rolling out Chris Volstad, who has allowed 75 baserunners in 42.1 innings and hasn’t allowed fewer than four earned runs in any of his last seven starts dating back to mid-April, it might not matter. And hey, no Juan Uribe again! Can’t argue with that.

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