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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.
  • MichiganGoat

    As for Colvin, it helps if your not batting 8th, go figure

  • BFM

    As for Cashner, keep him on the shelf until AFL and then look at him next spring…….no need to screw his arm up.

    @MichiganGoat…….i agree……..he can’t get better at the plate with few at bats……..Q has his head up his ass!

    Great philosophy by Q……..let’s play him every other day, bat him 8th and then criticize his performance…………wish we could bench Quade!

    • Deez

      @BFM: Only way you gain arm strength is by throwing + it’s good to get innings if only in relief vs. MLB batters.

      The whole lineup has been yo-yo’d around. Ramirez should’ve batted #3 all season. It would be great to find out that Ricketts shit canned the whole Staff, but they decided to finish out the season.

  • CubFan Paul

    in other news: Im hoping Darwin Barney’s recent acne outbreak is because he’s in the middle of a steroid cycle ..Because thats the only he’s going to keep the starting job at 2nd next year (.284/.321/.360/.681 ..in other words a slugging % of .420 or higher would give him a SLG of .741plus)

    & i told you all so as far as stretching out Cashner

    • jstraw

      Who’s gonna take that job from Barney?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I’d almost rather have Jeff Baker starting there full-time (if the question was simply a matter of getting as much production out of 2B in 2012 as possible). Hopefully the answer is someone like LeMahieu or Flaherty. Neither is knocking anyone’s socks off, but they have upside that Barney does not.

        • NyN

          Agreed. Anyone else notice that the Cubs have about 5 25th man types and they try to start all of them. We really do stinks.

        • Kyle N

          I can’t really say that I’m excited at the prospect of Jeff Baker starting next year. He has never played a full season as a regular in his MLB career and aside from his brief 2009 surge with the Cubs in which he hit .305/.362/.448 in 224 PA, has a lower average, poor walk rate, and just a bit more power (although, it’s tough to see how he might be affected by a 140+ game workload)

          So what is going to the best of the three evils? A 31-year Baker and his underwhelming career numbers, even though he spent time playing in Coors Field, 26-year old Barney and his sub-700 OPS, or roll the dice with the completely unproven young guys LeMahieu or Flaherty?

          Looks like second base is truly going to be a space-filler position for the duration of next year.

          • Kyle N

            We just need one of the young guys to go nuts in Spring Training, seize the job and run with it. That would make me happiest.

            • dreese

              Thats what Barney did this year. He came out of nowhere to win the job but hes not been what he showed us in spring training

              • hardtop

                im willing to give barney another season to see what he can do… assuming hes not clearly outplayed next spring. i know its unpopular but im not convinced he couldnt learn to take a walk with a little more seasoning and, hopefully, a better team around him. im not in love. im just not in love with baker, dewitt (is he even listed as an infielder anymore?), or lemahieu either.

                • dreese

                  Im fine with giving him another try because the way I see it were not going anywhere for a few years and I think he is our best option. But down the road when (hopefully) we start being able to compete again I hope that he is placed on the bench where he belongs.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I’m not excited by it, either. Just saying that would probably be more productive than Barney. That’s all.

  • Kyle

    I’m glad I’m not the only one dismissing Barney.

  • butt

    They need to pick a lane on him, starter or reliever.

    • dreese

      I think its obvious we want him to start and I think thats always been the plan but sometimes guys dont have the arm to be starters and he’ll be a reliever if we find that out but for now I think everyone wants starter there just cautious

  • CubFan Paul

    i dont see any one who blasted me when i suggested that Cashner continue to be stretched out to start for the Big League club & be brought back to start this season to bump Wells, Lopez, or Coleman from the rotation (none of whom are the future of the 2012 rotation of a sane GM) ..a tidbit from Carrie Muskat

    http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/08/28/828-cashner-update/

    i’l pat myself on my back, thank you

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