8/23 Cashner, Castro, Barney & Wood
Andrew Cashner struck out the first two batters he faced in his first rehab outing, pitching for Double-A Tennessee on Tuesday. After the two Ks, Cashner then gave up a single to Alex Castellanos, who stole second. Cashner served up back to back singles, and was then lifted. In two-thirds of an inning, he served up two runs on three hits and threw 23 pitches, 15 for strikes. The right-hander has been on the disabled list with a strained right rotator cuff since April 6.
* Starlin Castro was back in the Cubs’ lineup on Tuesday after being benched one game because of a defensive gaffe.
“We move on and see if he doesn’t improve,” Mike Quade said Tuesday.
Castro missed one game as a penalty for his lapse on Sunday night against the Cardinals. The 21-year-old shortstop was caught not ready when James Russell started his relief outing in the sixth inning. Castro had his back to home as Russell delivered a pitch. The shortstop said he didn’t realize the inning had started.
“It doesn’t take away from the progress we’ve seen from him and it doesn’t mean he’s on Mike Quade’s or anyone else’s time schedule,” Quade said. “You’re going to push him and do all the things you can do to get him better.”
Castro apologized to his teammates. Time will tell whether he learned a lesson.
“We need to concentrate on [the mental] part as does he,” Quade said.
* The Cubs were batting .188 with runners in scoring position in August after hitting .270 with RISP in July. On Monday, they stranded 15 baserunners in a 3-0 loss to the Braves.
“I don’t notice a different approach,” Quade said of the hitters with runners on and without. “We’re not having the same success in those situations obviously, but I don’t see a big difference in guys at-bats when there’s nobody on or when there’s people on base.”
* Kerry Wood has 17 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings in nine games this month. His previous strikeout high for a month this year was nine in April
“He’s got great velocity, he can mix in a curveball to go with his cutter that’s unbelievable,” Quade said. “He’s just locating and as good as the cutter is, the fastball location is the difference as much as anything.”
* Darwin Barney ended Dan Uggla’s hitting streak at 33 games when he made a running catch of a pop up on Aug. 14 in Atlanta. On Monday, Uggla smacked his 30th homer, launching the ball out of Wrigley Field and onto Waveland Avenue.
“I guess that’s where I’ve got to hit them against this team,” Uggla said. “If I keep in the park, Barney is going to catch it and get me out somewhere. You’ve got to hit it where they can’t catch them.”
– Carrie Muskat