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The Opener: Lee, Pirates, Cubs, Trades

The Opener: Lee, Pirates, Cubs, Trades

As the 2024 regular season continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:

1. Lee receiving second opinion:

Giants center fielder Jung Hoo Lee exited Sunday’s game against the Reds due to a dislocated shoulder suffered while trying to catch a fly ball off the bat of Jeimer Candelario at the wall. Since then, Lee has undergone an MRI that (as noted by’s Maria Guardado) that revealed structural damage in his shoulder. That’s a worrisome discovery, but Lee and the Giants will not determine next steps until a visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles that’s scheduled for later today. The 25-year-old has flashed strong defense in the outfield while slashing .262/.310/.331 (89 wRC+) in his first taste of big league action.

2. Series Preview: Pirates @ Cubs

Thanks to a quirk in this year’s schedule, the Pirates and Cubs are set to face each other their second series over the past week with a four-game set starting at Wrigley Field this afternoon. Over the weekend, the Cubs took two of three from Pittsburgh in a series that notably included the debut of top pitching prospect Paul Skenes, who ultimately allowed three runs in four innings of work but struck out seven batters in his first big league appearance.

Skenes will get a second bite at the apple in Chicago, but not before fellow youngster Jared Jones (2.68 ERA through eight starts) takes on Cubs ace hurler Justin Steele (4.73 ERA through three starts) this afternoon. On Friday, Skenes (6.75 ERA) will face veteran righty Kyle Hendricks (10.04 ERA), and the series will wrap up over the weekend with a pair of tough match ups for the Pirates as Bailey Falter (4.15 ERA) and Mitch Keller (3.93 ERA) face off against Shota Imanaga (0.96 ERA) and Jameson Taillon (1.61 ERA) respectively.

3. Pending DFA resolutions:

Astros right-hander Brandon Bielak and Pirates right-hander Roansy Contreras were both designated for assignment five days ago. While the DFA window technically lasts for a whole week, outright waivers are typically a 48-hour process, meaning if either player is going to be traded it’ll very likely be today. If no trades are agreed upon, they’ll be run through the waiver wire and made available to all 29 other clubs.

The 28-year-old Bielak pitched  to a 4.05 ERA in 142 1/3 innings from 2021-23, striking out 19.2% of his opponents against a 9.8% walk rate. Metrics like FIP (4.76) and SIERA (4.65) aren’t as…

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