5/20 Cubs to begin Interleague play
The Cubs travel to Texas after Thursday’s game in Philadelphia for a three-game Interleague series against the Rangers. Lou Piniella said the games at an American League park which use the designated hitter will allow him to use players who haven’t had many at-bats lately, such as Xavier Nady, Jeff Baker and Tyler Colvin.
“We’ll probably DH Nady one day and I can put Baker in right one day,” Piniella said. “I haven’t looked at the numbers yet — lefty, righty — to see how they can get people out. On Friday, if we wanted to we could DH one of our regulars and give them a breather that way.”
It’s been tough for Nady.
“He hasn’t been able to play on a consistent basis,” Piniella said. “He didn’t really have what you’d classify as a full swing. He’s a much better hitter than what the numbers show. I’m hoping some time in the not too distant future we’ll start getting some production. The problem is getting him out on the field.”
Piniella likes the idea of having an extra bat in the lineup — and that’s not a knock on the three pitchers who start in the series, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells and Carlos Silva.
The American League does lead in Interleague play since it began in 1997. Is the AL better?
“We’ll find out,” Piniella said. “I guess by the middle or end of June we’ll know.”
— Carrie Muskat