8/29 Extra bases

Iowa’s Bryan LaHair belted his 37th home run on Monday to tie the Triple-A team’s single-season mark, set by Joe Hicks in 1984. LaHair was named to the All-Pacific Coast League team earlier in the day.

* This season could be Aramis Ramirez’s last with the Cubs. His contract includes a club option for $16 million for next season.
What is Ramirez’s legacy?

“This year speaks for itself,” Mike Quade said of the third baseman, who entered Monday’s game against the Giants batting .309 with 24 homers and 83 RBIs.

“He’s always been — since the first time I saw him in Double-A a long time ago — a guy you looked at who you said would be a productive RBI guy,” Quade said. “His approach lends itself to being really good in RBI situations. Even as a young kid coming in the Pirates system, he looked like that kind of guy.”

Ramirez had a 16-game hitting streak end on Sunday. He batted .508 in that stretch, and is one home run shy of joining Billy Williams as the only players in Cubs history with 30 doubles and 25 homers six times.

* On Friday, Quade, interim GM Randy Bush and player development director Oneri Fleita will meet to discuss who will be called up from the Minor Leagues. Brett Jackson’s name will certainly come up. The Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Jackson was promoted from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa in mid July. In 42 games at Iowa, the outfielder has hit .319 with 12 doubles, two triples, nine homers and six stolen bases. He got off to a slow start, hitting .233 in his first 17 games, but was batting .369 in August. If called up, Jackson’s service time clock would start ticking. Do the Cubs feel he’s ready? Is it worth it to call him up now or wait?

“I want to do what’s right for the organization and the kid, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart,” Quade said Monday. “He’s a fine-looking young player. People who are watching him and see him every day are in a good a position to make a decision as to whether we should bring him up here.”

* Andrew Cashner struck out all three batters he faced in his third rehab outing on Monday for Double-A Tennessee. He threw 16 pitches, 11 for strikes. The right-hander, who has been on the disabled list since April 6 with a strained right rotator cuff, was expected to move up to Triple-A Iowa next for at least two more appearances. If all goes well, Cashner will join the big league team when it returns Friday for a six-game homestand. In his three rehab outings, Cashner has struck out six, giving up three hits and not walked a batter over 2 2/3 innings.

— Carrie Muskat


…and who willl ever forget Joe Hicks, Hicks. Joe? OK, never mind.

People want Ramirez replaced. But who do the Cubs have ready to take over? Vitters is not ready, hopefully one of these days he will be. Don’t see any 3rd basemen available who are better on the free agent market. If the Cubs jump into the free agent market, money would be better spent on starting pitching, and it’s only a dream but Pujios or Fielder.

Sure, LaHair may be forgotten as was Hicks however with the season he had he at least deserves a shot in September instead of treading water with Pena. Let September decide if he should be forgotten…or counted on. Maybe the Cubs might be better off with Castro at third, Barney at SS and go get a second baseman? Or maybe a kid from the minors at 2B since there is no minor league third baseman ready. D.J. LeMahieu maybe? This way funds can be spent on pitching and Fielder instead of third base. Too bad we are not talking about Vitters instead of LaHair. If it comes down to Fielder at 1B and kids everywhere else vs. Ramirez at 3B with PENA at 1B I hope they go for Fielder (but not for 8 years..) and the kids.

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