Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 08/18/10

Game One Hundred Twenty-One: Cubs (50-70) vs. Padres (71-47)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Casey Coleman (0-0, 8.64/1.80) vs. Clayton Richard (10-5, 3.80/1.41)

Updated – 11:23am CDT – Cubs Closing in a deal that would send Derrek Lee to the Braves for prospects.

Updated – 12:23pm CDT – According to Bob Nightengale (USA Today) Cubs and Braves will finalize deal for Derrek Lee this afternoon.

The Cubs have dropped 17 of 22 and will turn to another rookie, Casey Coleman, to try to put a ‘W’ on the board this afternoon.

The Chicago Cubs 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year will make his first big league start this afternoon. Casey Coleman and Thomas Diamond switched roles following another bad start by Diamond last Friday in St. Louis. Coleman’s stuff projects better as a starter than as a reliever and he should have never been put in a bullpen.

Coleman will throw to a familiar face this afternoon. Welington Castillo will get his second big league start today. Castillo and Coleman played catch for a majority of the year for Ryne Sandberg. Today could be Castillo last start until September. According to multiple reports, Geovany Soto took batting practice Tuesday and is expected to be activated from the DL on Sunday. Castillo will be recalled when the rosters expand on the first and figures to be on the Cubs’ active roster next season.

Clayton Richard will make his first start against the Cubs this afternoon. Richard was dealt from the South Side to San Diego as a part of the Jake Peavy deal last year. The 26-year old southpaw and Lafayette, Indiana native was the Sox 8th round pick in the 2005 draft.

It all starts with Casey Coleman

After a very good two-innings in relief against the Cardinals, Lou Piniella decided to switch roles with two of his young pitchers. Thomas Diamond was sent to the bullpen after another long, short outing and Casey Coleman will make his first big league start this afternoon.

Casey Coleman is expected to compete for a spot in the Cubs’ rotation next year … and a solid end of the season would go a long way this winter.

Coleman projects to be a backend of a rotation starter (Baseball America thinks Coleman will be a solid fourth or fifth starter in the big leagues) and has the stuff and the poise to be successful in a rotation … not in a bullpen.

Coleman does not have a dominating pitch but possesses very good command with an above-average changeup and curveball … and a fastball that sits consistently in the upper 80s to lower 90s.

Today will be the Padres first look at Casey Coleman.

The Cubs will get their first look at the former White Sox southpaw, Clayton Richard, this afternoon. Richard is one of the big reasons the Padres are in first place. Richard is coming off a solid win against the Giants (two runs on six hits in six innings) but has struggled of late.

Despite his 2-0 record in his last three starts, Richard has given up a lot of runs and maybe showing signs of fatigue. Richard has given up 11 runs, all earned, on 21 hits in his last 15 innings with seven walks and nine strikeouts.

Richard made 26 starts for the Padres and Sox last season and has already started 24 this season, plus he is six innings away from topping his total from a year ago (153 innings in 2009, 147 this year).

Today will be Richard’s first career game against the Cubs. Only three players on the Cubs’ active roster have faced Clayton RichardMarlon Byrd (1-for-3), Blake DeWitt (1-for-2) and Xavier Nady (1-for-3).

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