5/25 Where’s the power?

Entering Wednesday’s game against the Mets, Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro were tied with Alfonso Soriano for the Cubs’ RBI lead with 23 each. Usually, the top RBI guy is the big bopper. Castro and Barney have one home run each.

“We’ll always take the homers,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “Power doesn’t hurt at any given time. Just putting together quality at-bats, and if they’re not home runs, a double here or there [is fine].”

The emphasis should be on good swings, patience at the plate.

“And understand [the pitcher is] the guy in trouble, not the guy in the batter’s box,” Quade said. “That’s what [hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo] is working toward, that’s what they’re all working toward. We were able to string some stuff together last night. If we have quality at-bats in RBI situations, we’ll do enough damage to win games.”

What’s been strange is the HR drought by Soriano and Aramis Ramirez. Soriano has not homered since May 2; Ramirez since April 6.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise and I think a little more with Ramy because he’s been so consistent over the years,” Quade said. “I’m a past performance guy. I believe it will get better.”

* Jeff Baker was available to pinch-hit in an emergency, Cubs manager Mike Quade said Wednesday. Baker has a strained left groin, injured Sunday during an at-bat.

* Lou Montanez has yet to catch up on all the text messages and phone calls he’s received since being called up to the Cubs on Tuesday. He admitted to feeling a little “overwhelmed” by all the messages. “It always feels good to get some love,” he said.

* Rookie Welington Castillo was behind the plate Wednesday. Quade said he likes the way Castillo is able to control the running game. He’s also improved at the plate. How does the manager know? He was the one throwing batting practice to the young catcher. “You’d be surprised what you can learn doing that,” Quade said. “I actually thought his swing looked a lot better and his approach was better. He’s going to hit and hit for power. Given the injury [to his hand] and down time, I didn’t think he was near as sharp offensively this year as he was last year when he arrived.”

– Carrie Muskat

3 Comments

“I’m a past performance guy. I believe it will get better.”
What a lame, cover-up for Hendry song and dance Quade is performing. Players get old Quade, not neccesarily better. That’s been Hendry’s big problem, he pays players based on past performances and now Quade is PLAYING them based on past performances? Funny, Hendry didn’t hire Sandberg for manager based on HIS past performances as a WINNING MINOR LEAGUE MANAGER…and NOW…we are starting to see why. Not just anybody can be an organ grinding monkey, it takes a special person to play under-acheiving, non-hustling, defensively and offensively challenged players willing to accept A DOUBLE HERE OR THERE FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE ORDER, not to mention all the run producing walks that Pena is CONTRIBUTING PRODUCING A TON OF RBI. Really, Hendry and Quade give a whole new meaning to “Fantasy Baseball”.

i don’t fault Quade at all… he is playing the game with all pawns… Hendry hasn’t put the right pieces out there for ANYONE to succeed… I don’t care what anyone says Sandberg may or may not have been any better… to get this ball club going in the right direction we need some in the FO to take over and get us there… Hendry couldn’t put a team together to get out of a wet paper bag if you gave him a billion dollars… that nimrod has been given a top 5 payroll in the MLB and can’t even make the playoffs consistently… GIVE ME A BREAK!! Give Cubs fans a break!!! GET RID OF HIM!!!

at all? Don’t you think Quade is to blame for some of the “head scratchers” we’ve seen? How long will it take for him to platoon Pena with Baker? Quade is SATISFIED with Pena’s run production or he doesn’t want to rock the boat? It’s one or the other. Same thing with Ramirez and Soriano. If there are players on the bench that can improve the team’s chances of winning they should be playing a more pronounced role regardless of the incumbents. Pena has proven himself suspect so why not get Baker in vs. EVERY LEFTY? Reed Johnson hands down is a more PRODUCTIVE hitter than Fukodome yet Quade falls in love with Fukodome’s batting average and sits Johnson. Johnson is only getting regular playing time now because Byrd is injured not because Quade deems him a starter. These types of moves are on the manager. Even though Hendry supplies the players it’s the manager that decides who should play. Not saying Sandberg would be any different but I am THINKING he would be more like Bobby Cox than Lou Pinella. Quade at the very least should sit the SLUMPING veterans Pena, Ramirez and Soriano even for just a week to send a message. That would show us fans his independence and fire instead of making an embarrassing scene yelling at umpires for calling out the grounds crew during severe weather, yeesh. There’s plenty of blame to go around but the it’s Hendry and Quade that have options to change things and they are choosing not to do so. Satisfied with the status quo I guess brings home the bacon.

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