Mike Quade was pretty angry that the umpires decided to call for a rain delay with two outs in the top of the seventh last night, and came out to argue for a few minutes. You don’t see that very often, but Quade was right to plead his case. Everyone knew that once that tarp came out, it wasn’t coming off.
- Quade’s been catching some flack for using Carlos Zambrano as a pinch hitter when the Cubs were already up big on Tuesday night. Folks have the criticism right, but the rationale wrong. They say Quade’s a fool for using Z as a pinch hitter when he’s one of two regular starting pitchers who’s actually healthy; pfft. The real reason Quade’s a fool for using Z as a pinch hitter? Zambrano is *terrible* at it! His hit on Tuesday (which squeaked through the infield) was his first in his last 14 pinch hit appearances. For his career as a pinch hitter, he’s got just three hits and 14 strikeouts in 29 at bats, and a .103/.103/.103 line.
- Quade isn’t exactly eager to get Tony Campana a start in the outfield, but it could be coming soon. “Somewhere along the line [Campana will start],” he said. “I think Reed [Johnson] is playing too well. It’s not out of the question that with the knuckleballer [R.A. Dickey] throwing [today] we’ll have some fun with ‘Campy.’ But right now the guys we’ve got in place are doing well. Yeah, I’d like to look for spots, but not unless an opportunity presents itself for me. It hasn’t yet. I look every day.”
- Aramis Ramirez has just one home run all season, that coming on April 6. He’s slugging .366 in May. Of this and the complete lack of power from the rest of the Cubs, Quade says, “We’ll always take the homers. Just putting together quality at-bats. If they’re not home runs, a double here and there, but basehits are fine.” Quade is either playing nice with his superstars, or he hasn’t a clue about the relative value of a home run versus a “basehit.” Because I can’t fathom the latter is true, I’ll assume it’s the former. Either way, the lack of power on this team is a serious problem.
- Geovany Soto’s first game-like rehab effort was a success yesterday in Arizona, at least insofar a hitless performance against a bunch of low-level minor leaguers and rehabbing vets could be considered a success. He is healthy and headed for a couple games at AA Tennessee. Assuming he still feels good, he’ll be back with the Cubs on Saturday.
- Mike Quade sums up what most of us have been thinking about Darwin Barney: “I kept talking about him as an overachiever. Maybe I miss-evaluated him. Maybe he’s not an overachiever, maybe he’s just damn good.”