Quade keeping players at the ready

April, 4, 2011
4/04/11
6:33
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Mike Quade’s message to his 25-man roster seems to be: You might not be starting, but you will be playing.

On Monday, the Chicago Cubs manager once again went deep into his roster, using 11 position players and six pitchers in the 4-1 victory over Arizona.

Quade seems to like that everyone is prepared to play at a moment’s notice.

“I think so,” Quade said. “And I hope these guys understand it. There was a veteran Triple-A player who used to play for me. When I told him I was giving him a day off, he’d say, ‘I don’t have a day off, I’m just not starting.’ I absolutely love that. And I think most of these guys feel that way. Guys know who’s playing every day. They know I’m rotating the outfielders, and the middle infielders have contributed like a son of a gun.”

Quade doesn’t seem to have any favorites on this team, or for that matter, any doghouse, either. The secret to his success with this system both last year and this one may be that each player stays mentally involved and is ready to enter the game at all times.

Center fielder Marlon Byrd likes Quade’s style of managing.

“You have to be prepared,” Byrd said. Everybody comes in here and is ready every single day. You look in the dugout in the fifth inning, you see guys getting loose. You also have guys [in the clubhouse] getting warm. No one’s going to be put in the game here and be unprepared. We are always ready.”

Quade’s “every day” attitude has already put a big demand on his bullpen. Both setup man Kerry Wood and closer Carlos Marmol have thrown three straight days.

“I didn’t throw any back-to-backs in camp,” Wood said. “But I felt good all spring. I popped up [from the bench] today and I was loose in eight or nine throws. I’m sure in August I won’t get ready in nine pitches after three in a row, but right now, it’s nice.”

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.288 14 65 55
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 30
RBIA. Rizzo 71
RA. Rizzo 81
OPSA. Rizzo .889
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAT. Wood 4.72
SOJ. Arrieta 135