Results tagged ‘ Mike Quade ’

7/20 Extra bases

Shade and water were more important than a scorecard or peanuts on Wednesday because of oppressive heat. Neither the Cubs nor the Phillies took batting practice on the field to save their energy. The Cubs trainers were emphasizing the need to stay hydrated. The official game time temperature was 97 degrees, but the heat index made it feel like 108 degrees. An on-field thermometer registered 120 degrees.

Wrigley Field organist Gary Pressy tried to help fans cool off, playing “Jingle Bells” and “Let it Snow” pregame.

* Rodrigo Lopez has posted quality starts in each of his last three outings but the Cubs have decided to put him in the bullpen temporarily. After Thursday’s off day, the Cubs will have Carlos Zambrano (6-5, 4.78 ERA), Randy Wells (1-3, 6.71 ERA), and Matt Garza (4-7, 3.80 ERA) will go in the weekend series against the Astros, which opens Friday.

Wells has not won a start since April 4, his first outing of the season. He went on the disabled list the next day because of a strained right forearm and hasn’t found his groove since returning May 28.

“He needs to make progress and I’d like to see him pitch the way I’ve seen him in the past,” Mike Quade said of the right-hander, who had a solid spring and won the fourth spot in the rotation. “I’m hoping for as good an outing as I’ve seen from him in quite some time.”

* Carlos Marmol was available on Wednesday but Quade said he’s still gauging how he uses the right-hander each day, depending on the amount of work he does on the side. The Cubs are trying to get Marmol back on track. He’s given up eight runs on five hits and nine walks over 5 1/3 innings in his last eight games. The time off gives Marmol more than just a fresher arm.

“I’d like to think [the time off allows for] some self evaluation and spending some time to think about what you need to do to get people out,” Quade said. “I know the intensity which they’ve gone about it with both [pitching coach Mark Riggins] and he and Lester [Strode, bullpen coach] is important.”

* If you have a question about the Cubs, send it to CubsInbox@gmail.com. We’ll run an Inbox on Thursday.

– Carrie Muskat

7/19 Extra bases

Mike Quade talked Tuesday to Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s vice president of baseball operations, regarding the umpires’ performance in the Cubs’ series against the Marlins. Quade was critical of umpire Lance Barrett after he called pinch-runner Brett Hayes safe after a pickoff attempt in the Marlins eighth on Sunday. Quade felt shortstop Starlin Castro’s tag was in time, and the replay appeared to support the Cubs. Quade, who has been ejected three times this season, did not go on the field and argue the call.

Did Quade expect to be penalized after his chat with Torre?

“I’ll wait and see,” Quade said. “I don’t know. The one thing that’s great about having Joe  [in that job], he’s handling that situation and he’s been on both sides of this and he gives you an opportunity to explain and it’s not just cut and dry. We’ll see where it goes. We had a long discussion and a good discussion.”rotation in line?

* Quade and pitching coach Mark Riggins planned to sit down and discuss the rotation with two off days coming up. The Cubs have Thursday and Monday off.

* Alfonso Soriano has heard the rumors. It’s July, close to the trading deadline, and his name has been mentioned before.

“I don’t worry,” he said. “I don’t have control of that situation.”

Soriano, 35, would be an expensive addition for a team. His contract with the Cubs runs through 2014, and he is owed $18 million each year. He does have a full no-trade clause and is closing in on 10-and-5 status, but said he would not get in the way if the Cubs approached him about a possible deal.

* It’s Tuesday. Do you know who the Cubs closer is? As of now, the decision will be day to day. It could be Carlos Marmol, who pitched Monday after two days off to work on his mechanics, or lefty Sean Marshall. Marmol did pitch the ninth and walked two, but also struck out two, the first time he’s fanned a batter since July 3.

“We’ll see,” Quade said before Tuesday’s game. “[The Phillies] only have 10 left-handed hitters in the lineup, too.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/16 Extra bases

Carlos Marmol had a short throwing session with pitching coach Mark Riggins and will throw on the side Sunday as he tries to get his slider back. The problem is his grip — he’s been throwing with his hand on the side, not on top of the ball, Riggins said. It’s a minor adjustment.

“The timetable is open ended,” Mike Quade said. “That will depend on what they see as far as quality of pitches go and everything else.”

* Chris Carpenter was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the roster for Carlos Zambrano, activated from the DL on Saturday so he could start. Carpenter could use some regular work. He hasn’t pitched since July 10. With the move, Ramon Ortiz is now in the bullpen and will be used in long relief.

* For the second straight game, Quade didn’t change his lineup. That’s unusual.

“I’ve got to be honest, I looked at the four right-handers coming into this series, and I thought how nice is this going to be,” Quade said. “I can just show up and write it down and post it and not have to think for two hours about where I’m going with this.”

* In his second game with Triple-A Iowa, Brett Jackson went 2-for-5 with a double and a triple and stole a base. Jackson, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in 2009, was promoted from Double-A Tennessee after the All-Star break. Ryan Flaherty, also promoted from Tennessee, hit his first homer for the Iowa Cubs on Friday.

* Ryan Dempster’s foundation will host its second Casino Night on Thursday at the Palmer House in Chicago. There are still openings for the event, which will feature a silent auction of unique items and trips. Go to dempsterfoundation.org for more info.

* Zambrano delivered 175 pairs of shoes and 200 shirts to an orphanage in Guatemala during the All-Star break. “Everytime I go there, I realize how fortunate we are,” said Frank Alvarez, director of Zambrano’s foundation.

– Carrie Muskat

7/15 Marmol no longer closer

Carlos Marmol did get a chance to save Friday’s game, but couldn’t get the final out. Now, he’s sidelined to get a chance to work on his mechanics in hopes of regaining his slider. Mike Quade said the right-hander has lost his job as the closer for now.

“Hopefully when I get back, I’ll be the old Marmol,” Marmol said.

Quade met with Marmol, pitching coach Mark Riggins and others, including pitchers Kerry Wood and Sean Marshall, before Friday’s game against the Marlins, which the Cubs won, 2-1. Quade wanted to make sure Wood and Marshall were prepared to close if needed. The switch was prompted by Thursday’s outing when Marmol failed to retire a batter in the ninth, walking four and giving up a hit. All five baserunners scored in Florida’s 6-3 come from behind win.

Marmol asked Quade for a chance to pitch Friday and said he felt better on the mound.

“I appreciate what he did,” Marmol said. “It’s tough. I’ve got to keep working and hopefully I can get better.”

He’ll get that chance in the next few days.

“Relievers just don’t have the side time and the time to work on stuff that starters do,” Quade said. “You almost have to say you’re going to give him a couple of days.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/15 Cubs lineup

Ryan Dempster starts Friday for the Cubs, his first game since his early exit against the Pirates. Dempster didn’t agree with Mike Quade’s decision to pull him after 87 pitches over five innings last Saturday. Quade said the two have talked and the manager was able to explain his reasons. Let’s see what happens at Wrigley Field on Friday vs. the Marlins. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome

SS Castro

3B Ramirez

1B Pena

CF Byrd

C Soto

LF Soriano

2B Barney

P Dempster

– Carrie Muskat

7/14 Marmol still Cubs closer

Carlos Marmol couldn’t get his control of his slider Thursday night in the ninth against the Marlins, and it showed. The Cubs closer walked four and gave up one hit and all five runners scored in a six-run ninth as the Marlins posted a 6-3 come from behind win.

“That was pretty bad,” Mike Quade said. “That was as bad as I’ve seen him. Still, you feel he has a chance to pull it together but not tonight.

“We’ve got to find a way to finish a game like that,” he said. “Marm’s the guy, and has been the guy and needs to be the guy. He’ll be better.”

What happened?

“I couldn’t throw strikes,” said Marmol, who threw 25 pitches, seven for strikes. “When you don’t throw strikes, you don’t get people out.”

He didn’t use the All-Star break as an excuse.

“I don’t make excuses,” Marmol said. “I couldn’t throw strikes.”

This is the first time Marmol has walked four batters in an outing since July 17, 2010, vs. the Phillies. The five runs are the most off him since he gave up six May 31 against the Astros. It’s the sixth time he’s failed to record an out and second time this season.

Would Quade contemplate using someone else as the Cubs closer?

“Not right now,” Quade said. “You take something like this and try to figure out how to fix it. We’re not going to be any good without [Marmol, Kerry Wood and Sean Marshall]. This is not the time or place to be making all sorts of bold statements about changes. We have to figure [Marmol] out and get him right.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/14 Extra bases: Z, Cash & Q

Carlos Zambrano threw a side session to test his back on Thursday and is all set to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. Rodrigo Lopez will fill the fifth spot in the rotation with Ramon Ortiz going to the bullpen.

* Mike Quade did chat with Ryan Dempster to discuss why he pulled the right-hander after 87 pitches and five innings in his last start in Pittsburgh. Dempster was upset about what he felt was an early exit.

“It’s like anything else — if you argue with a player or a coach or people at home,” Quade said. “It’s a different interpretation of what’s going on and often that’s not considered at that moment.”

* Andrew Cashner will continue to build up arm strength and throw long toss for a couple weeks in Mesa, Ariz., before he can throw off the mound.

* The only glitch for Quade and his first All-Star Game was the travel. His flight Sunday out of Pittsburgh was canceled and he had to be re-routed through Memphis on Monday. On Tuesday, he was detained for 40 minutes by security at Sky Harbor Airport because his belongings set off the alarm.

“I don’t know what they were looking for,” he said. “[The All-Star Game] was a great experience and we won and that matters.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/14 Time for the 2nd half

Before Thursday’s game against the Marlins, Cubs manager Mike Quade addressed the team. His message?

“Play better, execute better, pitch better, hit better,” Quade said. “We’ve got to be better. I talked to the guys right before the workout and it’s the healthiest group I’ve addressed since before [Randy] Wells and [Andrew Cashner] went down. Now let’s see if we can stay healthy and be a better team.”
 
Wells and Cashner were placed on the DL after their first starts of the season, so it’s been a long time since the club has been healthy.
 
“You have to put the first 90 games behind you and look forward and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Quade said.

 

 Someone asked Quade if the Cubs needed change for change’s sake:

 

“I’ve heard that used several times — not here but in other places — and I despise that wording,” Quade said. “Maybe it does apply somewhere that I’m not associated with.
 
“I think there should be reasons, whether it’s this sport or business or anything else,” he said. “It usually means people don’t want to say why they’re making changes. ‘Oh, let’s just change things.’ It’s probably because things are going well and it’s time. Every time I hear that, it’s like, ‘Be more specific, please.'”

 

 He was specific to the players.
 
“There’s a lot of things out of our control, so let’s make sure we take care of the things we can control, whether it’s executing fundamentals or whatever the case may be,” he said.
 
The Cubs went 24-13 under Quade in the final six weeks of 2010. He’s hoping for that same level of performance.
 
“What I saw last year when these guys finished up so well, you’d like to see more of the same,” Quade said. “The thing to draw from to me is these guys didn’t suddenly start beating people 9-1. We won a lot of close ballgames, we pitched very effectively, we caught the ball better than we have. We did a lot of little things better than we have now.”
 
– Carrie Muskat

7/10 Peace on earth

Mike Quade said Sunday he planned to chat with pitcher Ryan Dempster at some point but didn’t feel the two needed an arbitrator. The two had a very public disagreement in the dugout when the manager told the pitcher he was finished on Saturday after five innings against the Pirates.

“I kind of chuckle because it brought me back to the day in Washington,” Quade said of Dempster’s start last August when he pulled the right-hander after 79 pitches over seven scoreless innings against the Nationals. That game came in Quade’s first series at the helm after taking over the Cubs for Lou Piniella.

“You make decisions and do what you have to do, right or wrong, and sometimes disagreements happen,” Quade said. “I still have to do what I think is right and sometimes it hurts and sometimes it’s not fun. Sometimes it doesn’t work. You respect the heck out of everybody but ultimately you have to do what you think is right for 24 and not necessarily one, and last night, I thought it was time to go to the bullpen.”

And Quade didn’t have any second thoughts after sleeping on his decision.

“[Dempster] has been pretty darn good for the last four, five weeks,” Quade said. “Coming off an injury and everything else, I’d do the same thing today. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be handled quite the way it was.”

Dempster tried to diffuse any tension after Saturday’s game, saying he was irritable because his back problems had made it impossible for him to play golf at the nearby Oakmont course.

– Carrie Muskat

7/10 All-Star stuff

Mike Quade and Starlin Castro will fly to Phoenix after Sunday’s game to take part in the All-Star Game at Chase Field. Quade was named to the NL coaching staff, while Castro is the Cubs’ lone player representative.

Quade did talk to Giants manager Bruce Bochy Saturday night about the possibility of adding Aramis Ramirez, but the third baseman has already made plans to go home to the Dominican Republic.

One thing not clear is what Quade will do for the NL team. Bochy could use him as a third base coach, he could keep him on the bench, or he could have him throw batting practice.

Quade did plan on lobbying for Major League Baseball to add another category for the All-Star Game: third base coach.

“I think it would be really cool if they made it a voted in position,” Quade said.

It wouldn’t be a fan vote, he said, but something determined by those in the game.

– Carrie Muskat

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