8/6 Campana back on bench
Tony Campana had about 60 text messages from friends after Friday’s game and had to finally turn his phone off at 2 a.m. because he was still getting congrats. The rookie outfielder hit his first home run Friday, and is the first Cubs player to hit an inside the park homer at Wrigley Field for his first in the Major Leagues.
“It was pretty outrageous,” Campana said of the response so far.
The only downer was that he wasn’t in the Cubs lineup Saturday. Friday’s game was Campana’s 18th start this season but manager Mike Quade inserted Marlon Byrd for the second game against the Reds.
“You may see Tony [Sunday],” Quade said. “We’ll take a look at giving a couple guys, or at least one guy a day off then. Tony’s playing off the bench now. … He had a great day but we’ll continue to use him off the bench.”
The Cubs weren’t counting on Campana to provide much offense. His speciality is speed, which he flashed as he sprinted around the bases in the first inning Friday.
“Campy’s working on his offensive game,” Quade said of the rookie, who had three hits Friday, missing the cycle by a triple. “You saw him as good as he can be yesterday. If he continues to do that, he won’t be a bench player for long. He’s been effective doing what we’ve asked him to do off the bench and obviously had a big day yesterday. He should feel good about it and be ready to help us late in the game.”
Campana, 25, didn’t sound too disappointed.
“You’re always hoping to be in the lineup,” he said. “I’ll probably get in there late and play defense and run and try to make things happen.”
Infielder Jeff Baker heard that and chimed in.
“He’s the manager, too, now,” Baker said. “Hey, ‘Q,’ Campy says he’s going to play defense, today.”
It’s all in good fun.
— Carrie Muskat