The Rundown: Maddon Strikes Back, Cubs Bullpen Shuts Down Marlins, Machado Talk, Paxton No-Hits Jays

I’d like to thank Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein for calling me out. According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, the Cubs’ manager isn’t interested in listening to those who say he juggles the team’s lineup too much. Maddon and Epstein both dismissed the theory on Tuesday, with Maddon calling such talk “a non-sophisticated conversation.”

As you know, Joe doesn’t believe in the set lineup, and that bothers some fans, including me. Before you know it, Kyle Schwarber will be back in the leadoff spot. In his defense, Maddon went with 130 different starting lineups in 2016 and the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years. So what do I know?

In his tenure with the Cubs, and probably as long as he has been in baseball, Maddon has been somewhat of a contrarian when it comes to managing his teams. His bullpen use in the both the 2016 and 2017 playoffs has come under fire, but he still does have that one championship. I don’t particularly like the lineup juggling, even if that makes me non-sophisticated. If Joe ever invites me over, I’m bringing boxed wine and a lineup card.

Cubs News & Notes

The Cubs placed outfielder Jason Heyward on the seven-day concussion DL and called up Jen-Ho Tseng to fill in for Yu Darvish. Tseng pitched two innings giving up three runs before the bullpen shut the Marlins down for the rest of the game.

The Cubs also recalled David Bote and swapped out pitcher Rob Zastryzny for Cory Mazzoni.

Maddon believes Javy Baez could return to the Cubs’ lineup as soon as today’s series finale against the Marlins.

Should the Cubs make a trade for Orioles SS Manny Machado? Team chairman Tom Ricketts doesn’t have a problem adding to the team’s payroll and would likely approve any acquisitions the front office may want to make. ‘‘We leave all the baseball decisions up to the baseball guys. ‘To the extent there’s a window where they want to sign more guys or not sign more guys, that’s their decision.’’

Per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs “expect to talk” with the Orioles about Machado in the near future. Wittenmyer did note “a lot of dominoes would need to fall in the right directions” to pull off a trade.

Jose Quintana takes the bump today as the 18-15 Cubs try to sweep the Marlins out of Chicago. Quintana allowed six runs in six innings in his lone career start against the Marlins on April 1 — a 6-0 loss.

How About That!

It was the best of times: A mere six days ago we were talking about James Paxton turning in one of the most dominant starts of the season in a 16-strikeout effort. Last night he topped it by no-hitting the Athletics at Safeco Field.

It was the worst of times: Dylan Bundy had an historically bad game against the Orioles last night, giving up 7 runs — including 4 home runs — without recording a single out in Baltimore’s 15-7 loss to the Royals.

The Mets traded beleaguered pitcher Matt Harvey to the Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco.

White Sox said reliever Danny Farquhar seemed like his usual joking self when he visited the team for the first time since he collapsed in the dugout because of a brain hemorrhage during a game last month. Farquhar, 31, spent about an hour at the ballpark before Chicago hosted Pittsburgh.

Red Sox lefty David Price was sent back to Boston for medical tests after experiencing a tingling sensation in his pitching hand again.

Closer Roberto Osuna of the Blue Jays  was charged with assault and put on administrative leave by Major League Baseball, preventing him from playing for at least a week.

Tuesday’s Three Stars

  1. James Paxton – Obviously. The Mariners’ left-hander struck out seven Athletics and issued three walks in yesterday’s no-hitter.
  2. Jeremy Hellickson – The 31-year-old who joined the Nationals on a minor league deal in mid-March, struck out eight Padres and was perfect through six innings in Washington’s 4-0 win.
  3. Cubs Bullpen – Zastryzny, Steve Cishek, Justin Wilson, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., and Brandon Morrow shut the Marlins out over seven innings yesterday, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out seven Miami batters.

Hot Takes & Syrup

They Said It

  • “We’ve won a lot of games the last three years. Whenever we’re winning no one talks about how we’ve overcome moving guys around in the lineup. Its only when we’re losing. It can be hard to explain sometimes. … I don’t think it’s because of how Joe has been writing lineups here.” – Theo Epstein
  • “Honestly, it’s such a non-sophisticated conversation. It really is. I don’t know how it begins. I’ve heard it from old baseball dudes. I think fathers pass it down to sons on occasion. It’s like teaching your kid how to drive a stick shift. It just gets passed along.” – Joe Maddon

Wednesday Walk Up Song

Ball of Confusion by the Temptations. Rap on brother, rap on.

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