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Friday, February 25, 2011
Quade sets lineup for Cactus opener

By Bruce Levine

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade has set his lineup for the Cactus League opener against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

1. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
2. Starlin Castro, SS
3. Marlon Byrd, CF
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Carlos Pena, 1B
6. Alfonso Soriano, LF
7. Geovany Soto, C
8. Blake DeWitt, 2B
9. Carlos Zambrano, P

"I said all along Fukudome fits better in the one spot if he is in the lineup," Quade said.

Although Quade likes Fukudome leading off, he had a .193 batting average and a .313 on-base percentage in the one spot in 2010.

Quade said the starting players will have at least two at-bats and five innings in the field maximum in the first few games of Cactus League.

He also expects Zambrano and Matt Garza to throw two innings each although that could be altered by new pitching coach Mark Riggins' pitch count maximum. The relievers are expected to throw one inning each. Jeff Samardzija is among that group.

During practice on Friday, Quade had a conversation with Ramirez and stressed to him that he would like good communication this season.

"My thing with Rammy is that he is one of the veterans on this club. [I need to know] that he is feeling good, that he understands what's going on at how he is feeling health-wise," Quade said. "Just so we exchange information of what we are both thinking. That doesn't mean that we are always going to come to an agreement all the time."

Quade said he won't name a team captain.

"I don't do the captain thing. I'm the captain of this team," quade said. "Somebody before I did who was a lot better and smarter than me said it first. It was probably [Jim] Leyland when he was a younger manager. I don't believe in putting that on somebody because everybody leads a different way. I've known some great players that weren't comfortable with that at all."