After a burst of success earlier in the month, the Cubs have lost six of seven, and look poised to limp into September. Teams tend not to magically improve in August without changing personnel, so the slump was to be expected.
- It sounds like the Cubs are very much open to Andrew Cashner returning as a starting pitcher in 2012. According to sources, the Cubs plan to have Cashner pitch after the season in the prospect-heavy Arizona Fall League in order to build his arm strength back up. So, even if Cashner makes it back to the Cubs this year as a reliever, it looks like they’ll try him out as a starter in Spring Training, and see what’s what. Assuming health, Cashner is likely to be far more valuable to the Cubs as a starter than as a reliever, so this is good news.
- Mike Quade still doesn’t get why people were upset when he publicly buried Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney for their mental/physical mistakes a month ago. When discussing the error woes of his middle infield, Quade said, “Hell, I got irritated with the two kids in the middle five weeks ago, and the city of Chicago wanted to kill me, I guess. But the only thing that mattered to me was making sure they understood the importance of their position in this organization and on the field and everything else — and that I get the response I wanted from them. And I think I did. I think they understand.” We call that kind of statement “spin control.”
- Interim GM Randy Bush isn’t ready to commit one way or the other on a September call-up of top prospect Brett Jackson. “We’re not ready to make any announcements on that,” Bush said. “I’ve had some preliminary discussions with Mike Quade and Mark Riggins so they all know who’s on the table. We’re talking about different things. We’re going to meet next Friday, when the team gets back from San Francisco, and firm it up. The guys who come up will join us the following Tuesday. Their season ends on Monday, Labor Day. I can certainly say we are extremely pleased with the progress [Jackson] has made and how he’s playing there. We think the world of Brett. He got off to a little bit of a slow start, and he has really performed well. You just like to see him getting his at-bats.”
- Tyler Colvin has been a bit more productive of late – though, when you started off hitting, like, .100, it’s hard not to improve – but, more importantly, Quade says Colvin’s looking better at the plate. “It’s still a work in progress,” Quade said. “His numbers haven’t been great, but overall, I think his at-bats have been better. He still gets after balls, and he needs to learn to take [pitches], and his discipline still has a long way to go, but he’s squared up more balls than he did before he left. If you’re hitting the ball out of the ballpark, you must be doing that.” Colvin’s August line is still very disappointing: .194/.242/.435.