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CHICAGO – Here are a few roster-related notes I gleaned at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.
• The Cubs called up three players Tuesday (D.J. Lemahieu, Luis Montanez and John Gaub). Catcher Wellington Castillo was not among them due to a strained hamstring. Castillo was invited to come to Chicago and be a part of the team, however.
• Manager Mike Quade will use those call-ups on occasion, but he said the veterans who have been with the team throughout the season deserve to be in the lineup every day.
“Oh yeah! I think there is some happy medium,” Quade said. “These [veterans] absolutely deserve it. I’ve given some of them some down time. I rested [Alfonso] Soriano and I rested [Carlos] Pena. We will continue to look for spots to get the kids in, but, oh yeah, by the way, you’re trying to compete and win some games.”
Quade’s problem is that many of the veterans put the team in a better position to win, but the fan base would prefer to see more areas of player development this month. If you look at second base and shortstop, the team has young players developing every day at those positions in Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney. The team could consider putting Lemahieu at third base on occasion, but that takes at-bats away from Aramis Ramirez, Chicago’s most impactful hitter.
Montanez is a nice extra man, but at 29 he is hardly a prospect. The same can be said of Bryan LaHair, who at the age of 28, led the minor leagues in home runs with 38 this season.
• Gaub should get some time in the bullpen. The lefty is considered a bona fide prospect and a threat to make the Cubs’ roster in 2012. Gaub will be joined in the bullpen by Andrew Cashner, who began the season in the rotation before suffering a rotator cuff injury in April.
Quade said Tuesday that he will not use Cashner in back-to-back games. Quade also said he’d like to give Cashner “clean” bullpen innings to work – meaning that he would not pitch with men already on base. In those instances, Cashner can get proper warm-up time.
• Look for the Cubs to add two or three players from Double-A when the Tennessee Smokies conclude their playoff run. Pitcher Rafael Dolis and catcher Steve Clevenger, have already been identified as two likely call-ups.
• One note on the major league team: Utility man Blake DeWitt is nursing a strained hamstring, but he might be used off the bench.