Much to our pleasure, Max Ramirez cleared waivers yesterday and will remain in the organization, albeit at AAA Iowa. There, he’ll be joined by the other catcher in Cubs camp this Spring who won’t be on the big club, Welington Castillo. Much to our chagrin, the job on the big club went to nice-guy-bad-ballplayer Koyie Hill. There was never really much of a competition for the back-up catcher’s job, but Cubs manager Mike Quade offered some words on the situation anyway.

“[Hill] understands his role and he’s able to perform that role,” manager Mike Quade said Tuesday.

Welington Castillo had the best camp of any catcher, hitting .632. But the Cubs believe he needs more at-bats in the minors. He will play with Ramirez at Iowa.

“There are a lot of things, that just to the eye, you go ‘what?'” Quade said. “Fans will do that. But I love the opportunity to explain stuff like (Castillo), and people that have been around minor league baseball in particular, and development don’t think that’s the way (to go).” Chicago Breaking Sports.

Hey, Quade understands us!

I don’t doubt that getting Castillo consistent starts is a legitimate reason to send him to AAA (though, query whether he’ll get “consistent” starts now that Ramirez will be joining him). I do wonder at what point in a player’s career, he gets more in terms of development from playing with and learning from Major League players and managers, even if he starts only occasionally.

Nevertheless, the decision is made, and it’s time to root for Koyie Hill. May he do what he’s never done before: hit like an average Major Leaguer.

  • TWC

    Ace, I think the penultimate word in your post there should be “Little”, not “Major”.

  • Jeff

    I understand the need to get regular starts and at bats. What I am curious about is the part where he says that Castillo needs more at bats in the minors. So the guy hits .600 off of mostly major league pitching and it means he needs more at bats, but HIll gets one freaking hit all spring and he’s good to go because “he understands his role.” What role is that? Don’t be good enough that people actually want to see you play?

  • Dean

    “Nevertheless, the decision is made, and it’s time to root for Koyie Hill. May he do what he’s never done before: hit like an average Major Leaguer.”

    I would take Hill hitting like a bad major leaguer. It would take improvement over last year just to get to bad.

  • TSB

    An extra inning game; Quade looks down the dugout. he needs a pinch hitter. all he sees are Koyie Hill and the batboy. quickly, he checks the rule book to see if he can activate the batboy.

    • Ace

      It’s Darren Baker!

      • Cheryl

        Very good, Ace.

  • Cheryl

    I can understand the reasoning in regard to Castilo. I don’t think he explained about Ramirez. If he needed a bat off the bench, Ramirez offered that possibility. I know, the decision is made. But sometimes people are too close to a player and the fans see it in a different light. I will root for Hill, but I sure don’t expect much given his playing this spring.

    • Ace

      I expect that the pitchers have more of a rapport with Hill than Ramirez (for obvious reasons), and that would have been the deciding factor had Quade actually considered Ramirez for the gig.

  • Karen P

    It’s nice to see Quade addressing things that matter to the fans. However, I still have a difficult time stomaching the idea of Koyie Hill being Soto’s backup. I agree with you about the balance between Triple-A and being a back-up in the big leagues.

    It’s sort of like the Red Wings’ goalie situation right now, but I’m gonna guess that you’re probably not as well versed in that as I am (I work for Detroit’s AHL team).

    Regardless, maybe the Cubs will switch the two players out at some point in the season?