Day Twelve of Camp ‘Q’ … Captain Quade and the Starting Lineups

The first pitch of the Cubs’ 2011 Cactus League schedule is just a day away …

Mike Quade announced his first three lineups of the spring Friday and more pitching probables for the first four games were released.

Kosuke Fukudome will leadoff a lineup Sunday that Quade could run out on Opening Day against the Pirates according to Bruce Levine … that is if Clint Hurdle sends a right-hander to the mound in the first game of the year.

Mike Quade also said he will not name a captain for the 2011 Cubs. Quade does not believe in naming captains. The Cubs skipper said that he is the captain of his team.

Here is the update as the exhibition season has begun around Major League Baseball.

Spring Training Pitching Schedule

Here is the updated pitching schedule for the first games of the spring:

  • Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. A’s – Carlos Zambrano, Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Jeff Samardzija
  • Monday, Feb. 28 vs. Brewers – Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall
  • Tuesday, March 1 at Giants (Scottsdale) – Ryan Dempster, Casey Coleman
  • Wednesday, March 2 at Brewers (Maryvale) – Carlos Silva, James Russell
  • Thursday, March 3 vs. Rangers - Braden Looper

Starting Lineups
Mike Quade announced his starting lineups for the first three games of the Cactus League schedule Friday … as well as the backups for Sunday’s opener.

Starting Lineup for Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. A’s
Kosuke Fukudome – RF
Starlin Castro – SS
Marlon Byrd – CF
Aramis Ramirez – 3B
Carlos Pena – 1B
Alfonso Soriano – LF
Geovany Soto – C
Blake DeWitt – 2B
Carlos Zambrano – P

Backups for Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. A’s
Tyler Colvin – RF
Darwin Barney – SS
Fernando Perez – CF
Josh Vitters – 3B
Bryan LaHair – 1B
Brett Jackson – LF
Jeff Baker – 2B

Starting Lineup for Monday, Feb. 28 vs. Brewers
Reed Johnson – CF
Darwin Barney – SS
Tyler Colvin – RF
Alfonso Soriano – LF
Carlos Pena – 1B
Jeff Baker – 2B
Marquez Smith – 3B
Koyie Hill – C
Randy Wells – P

Starting Lineup for Tuesday, March 1 at Giants
Kosuke Fukudome – RF
Starlin Castro – SS
Marlon Byrd – CF
Aramis Ramirez – 3B
Geovany Soto – C
Blake DeWitt – 2B
Reed Johnson – LF
Bryan LaHair – 1B
Ryan Dempster – P

The starting pitchers, as well as those competing for a spot in the rotation, are expected to throw two innings in their first outing of the spring … the relievers are slated for an inning apiece. All pitchers will be on a pitch count.

As for the position players, all starters are expected to receive two at bats or play a minimum of five innings.

According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Kosuke Fukudome is the favorite right now to hit leadoff when the season begins.

News, Notes and Tweets
According to a tweet from Dave Kaplan, Geovany Soto said his shoulder is 100 percent healthy and he feels better than when he was 19.

Friday was the Cubs final day of the spring at Fitch Park. The team moved down the street to HoHoKam and will hold practice there Saturday. Minor League camp begins a week from Monday (March 7) at Fitch.

Angel Guzman is making progress and will face hitters for the first time Wednesday. Guzman will throw batting practice. Wednesday will mark the first time Guzman has faced hitters since 2009.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Mike Quade had a conversation with Aramis Ramirez “and stressed to him that he would like good communication this season.”

Brett Jackson likes the fact that Mike Quade is a hands-on-manager. Quade corrected Jackson on a baserunning gaffe Friday and Jackson liked the way Quade handled the situation.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Braden Looper and Todd Wellemeyer are ready to compete for a spot in the rotation. Looper and Wellemeyer are long shots to make the team and Looper said early in camp he wasn’t sure if he wanted to pitch out of the pen. The Cubs do not have a financial commitment to either pitcher if they do not break camp with the team.

Reed Johnson is the Cubs’ feel-good outfielder according to a report from the Sun-Times.

The clock is ticking on Josh Vitters according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

Video from Mesa

Mike Quade on team captains … From Carrie Mukast:

“I don’t do the ‘captain’ thing. I get hockey and other sports, but I’m the captain, and that’s not my line. Somebody else used that who was a lot smarter and better than me — it was probably [Jim] Leyland. That’s how I look at this stuff. I don’t believe in putting that on somebody because everybody leads a different way. All of a sudden the ‘C’ is on your jersey, and I know some great players who were not comfortable with that at all. I would never put that on people. Performance more times than not starts leadership happening. Some guys do it verbally, some guys do it behind the scenes.”

CactusLeague2011-pub.jpg
The Cactus League
(click to enlarge)

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Well, there is the update … and it’s time for baseball!

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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  • Tony_Hall

    I like how Q has run camp. Communication is the key, and he communicates well. After the Dusty and Lou regimes, this has been a nice thing, as they didn’t communicate as well (sometimes at all). Now, Q hasn’t had to make a tough decision yet (sorry ST lineups are just that, ST lineups). As the cuts start to happen, and the real lineups are being done, will be the true test for Q.

    Is he a “players manager”…maybe, but lets see what happens, when he needs to bench a vet. That will be a good test for Q. Until then, I like how he has been more hands-on (anything is more than Zero hands-on), and how the players are responding.

  • Tony_Hall

    Fukudome in the lead-off spot, why not! I know there are stats that show this and that, but lets face it, this team does not have lead-off hitter. Fukudome bats well in April. Fukudome is going to play in April, hopefully at Soriano’s, a notorious slow starters, expense. Fukudome takes a lot of pitches and has a decent OBP. The problem I have with it, is that Colvin is the most likely, odd man out in April. I hope that he plays the hot hands, not just in April, but all year.

  • Tony_Hall

    The last day without baseball games!

    Thanks to Neil for helping us get through this awful time of year, when there is snow on the ground, and our Cubbies aren’t playing games.

  • Tony_Hall

    I don’t know how the Cubs do it but, I am getting excited for the season. I do think that the Cubs will surprise a lot of people this year, and think that if enough ifs happen, this team can compete.

    I also don’t know how it is that my coffee poured out in a Cubbie blue color this morning, and my glasses turned blue overnight.

  • jw

    Hey hey holy mackerel, no doubt about it, the Cubs are on their way!

    Seriously, I think they will be a well coached serious MLB team in 2011. Like most here I believe they have an outside chance at a playoff spot and may even win a playoff game if they get in. I think they will find that there are several clubs they cannnot seriously believe they could overcome in the NLwhen it comes down to crunch time. Of course injuries are key and the team will need to stay healthy like any other team that wants to be in contention for a division and ultimately a penant. PItching is key and that is the biggest risk and opportunity for this team.

  • cubtex

    I like what I have been reading about how Q is running his first spring training camp! He is talking with both verterans and youngsters……My opinion about what type of manager works……Communication!!! All a player can ask for is for a manager to communicate with them and tell them their role on the team. I think Lou lost some of that with the Milton Bradley fiasco etc!!! This team might not be the most talented in the division, but not always does the most talented win!

  • Tony_Hall

    From MLB Trade Rumors –

    “One could argue that Jeremy Hellickson is actually an upgrade over Garza in the rotation despite the former’s inexperience in the Majors. I imagine the Rays would have preferred to maintain the depth, but felt the need to reallocate Garza’s money. Friedman still made a big score in plucking five players out of the Cubs’ farm system in the trade”

    Full article – http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/02/offseason-in-review-tampa-bay-rays.html

    • SuzyS

      Tony,
      A) It’s just great that a winter-weary baseball fan will soon have something to watch.
      B) This is the long awaited “transition year” where we’ll actually be able to dump some expensive dead weight after season…
      WITHOUT 1) a proven lead-off hitter (how many seasons has JH been
      trying to get this one right?)
      2) a proven # 3 hitter
      3) a health question at #4
      4) NOT ONE PROVEN ACE/STOPPER in the rotation
      ……….and the biggest thing of all….Jim Hendry still at the helm….
      I look for an entertaining but ultimately failing season once again.

      RE: The Garza trade….If Garza proves to be as good as Ted Lilly….
      we still paid one too many prospect/suspects in this trade…
      If Garza bombs out…(He is a fly ball pitcher) then Hendry made another
      Milton Bradley deal.

      ALL FOR ONE….(JIM HENDRY) NONE FOR THE FANS.

      Not one dollar in my budget for the Cubs this season…50 plus years…
      and I’m finally going to make them earn my money.

      • Tony_Hall

        I just signed up for the MLB.com service and am already watching ST games on my computer. The picture is very good, and you can watch 4 games at once. It is so good to watch baseball again.

        I do not have high expectations for this year, but I am excited for it to get started.

  • Aaron

    In news that will likely cause Cubs fans to squirm the rest of the season:

    Chirinos- 2-for-3, double, and 4 RBI
    Guyer- 1-for-2, with a double
    …and, the other guy I wanted the Cubs to sign, Chris Carter, formerly of the Mets, a solid 1B, and corner OF, went 1-for-2 in the first action of Spring Training.

    Does this mean they will continue hitting like this? It’s possible….but it sure doesn’t make the Cubs look good, does it?

    Fact is, we essentially traded Lee, Chirinos, Archer, Guyer, and Fuld for Garza, as he’s the only one likely to even play a game for the Cubs. Rosscup is a fringe guy at best, and Perez will never see the light of day with the Cubs, unless Reed Johnson gets injured in Spring Training.

    Anyways….I guess if Hendry’s going to lose his job, he’s going to go down swinging, which he did. Problem is, it does NOTHING for our future, and he’s already done irreparable damage.

    • Gary J

      To quote Lou Brown “Off a guy who’ll be bagging groceries in a couple of weeks”

      And Archer gave up a run on two walks in an inning of work. He’s obviously horrible.

      (sigh)

      Let’s talk about this all again in a month when we see who makes squads. And then again in three years when we see who sticks.

  • studio179

    “Brett Jackson likes the fact that Mike Quade is a hands-on-manager. Quade corrected Jackson on a baserunning gaffe Friday and Jackson liked the way Quade handled the situation.”

    I don’t know. This line reads funny for some reason. It makes it seem like Jackson, the unproven but highly ranked minor league guy, actually has a say so in how Quade handled his baserunning gaffe. Quade’s first year as manager or not, he is still his boss. I hope that is not the way it really came out and reads worse than it seems. Maybe I’m reading into it too much.

    • Aaron

      even though I hated the Quade hire from the get-go given his reliance on veterans and numerous contradictions, you’re reading too much into this.

      I don’t think anyone wants to be berated in front of teammates for a mental error in ANY sport.

      At the same time, you almost wonder if the players will take advantage of that, or if they will work their ass off, and make sure they don’t disappoint the man in charge.

      However, I’m betting on the former, as historically, “player’s coaches” tend not to fair well over time.

      So far, we have seen absolutely NO accountability from Quade regarding the play on the field. Yes, he benched Castro for a mental error, but he didn’t bench a single veteran for their numerous miscues and poor at bats. In fact, he road them all the way down the stretch, rather than give at bats to Barney, Snyder, Castillo, etc. Contradictions abound with Quade, and I think very very soon, the younger players will realize that he only meant “accountability” with the younger players and will let the veterans get away with anything and still play everyday.

      And like I said, after awhile, veterans will run the asylum, and he will eventually lose the respect of the whole team.

      I’ve said this numerous times before, Dusty Baker was seen as a “player’s coach”, and it was an absolute DISASTER, wasn’t it? It started off well, but as with any “player’s coach”, they begin to lose authority, as nobody fears their wrath (yeah, I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s the damn truth). I remember every team I’ve played on, the players actually played harder and practiced harder for the authoritarian coaches than the did the nicer ones, because they feared being benched. Plain and simple. The authoritarian coaches also demanded excellence, and would force the entire team to run, or redo the drills if we didn’t put full effort out there. With the other coaches, it was always a loose atmosphere, and everyone seemed to be joking around, etc.

      Anyway, that’s my personal experience, and it could be different for everyone else, as each person is unique. But I can honestly say that I couldn’t sleep some nights with the authoritarian coaches if they got on me at practice earlier that day. I’d be replaying everything in my mind, and it actually drove me to be a better players, because I’d be more aware in the future of what I was doing in games and practice. I’d even remember cursing under my breath at those coaches, but ultimately, I respected the hell out of them.

      Baseball coaching is NO different than parenting. If you are seen as your children’s friend, as a lot of parents have tried to do in the past, they will continue to push the envelope with you and see how much they can get away with. And the parents will usually cave, because they don’t want to upset the kids. Later on in life, the kids act up, and the parents are left wondering how they got out of control.

      Back in the day, a lot of father’s used the back of their hand and a belt to get their point across, and it worked. I remember numerous times where my brother and I screwed up, and we’d hear from our mom, “wait til your dad gets home”, and we’d never make that same mistake again that got us in trouble.

      But anyways…..

      • paulcatanese

        Aaron, as long as they played the best I see nothing wrong with that style.I would not like the coach to be my friend,nor would I like to be judged as his friend simply on my ability only,and then I know I was the right one for a position. I would prefer though that If the coach were to chew me out for a mistake that he would take me off to the side,but I also realize sometimes that is not possible and the oppisite would occur, thats life,take it and move on. One thing I would insist on that he be fair and use the same criteria for all the players, thats the only way it would work for me. And good article Aaron.

        • paulcatanese

          Aaron what I meant and re-read what I posted didn’t come out right. I meant to say I didn’t like a “players coach” i just expanded it a little,but mis-wrote the first sentence. I do agree though will Quade use the same style with the Vets?I will wait and see,but won’t hold my breath.

    • paulcatanese

      I don’t think you read ito that too much. However Quade did that it was with another rookie or young player, I await the day I read about the same thing with a Vet.

  • Aaron

    I finally figured out why the anemic hitting Koyie Hill will make the roster, despite having absolutely no value (defensively or offensively relative to other options):

    *****************************************************************************************
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0227-music-cubs-spring-trainin20110225,0,2310779.story

    “Catcher Koyie Hill, who preferred striding to home plate to Led Zeppelin, said a new sound system would make the recorded music more palatable.”

    *****************************************************************************************

    Didn’t we just have a recent article where Quade was quoted as saying he listened to Led Zeppelin every morning?

    • paulcatanese

      Are you kidding me? Players actually have their favorite tune playing when they walk to the plate? Led Zeppelin? I guess I’m to late for a comeback,the organ probably dosen’t know any Lawernce Welk tunes.

      • The Maven

        Paul, I can see you striding to the plate to “Calcutta”.

        • paulcatanese

          Before I head out the door to visit someone special I would like to mention a little baseball story with you. When I was younger and playing I was sitting on the bench that game and I enjoyed a little “bench jockying”(no offense here Aaron, I know you were a pitcher) and everytime he would throw a ball I would shout “way to go pus arm” I was safe cause I wasn’t playing. It really unnerved him and he didn’t have a very successful game,it worked. But the next time we faced him I was playing and sure enough the first pitch was in my ribs he mentioned to me on the way to first,”now there’s two pus arms out here” one shot deserves another.