Cubs

Dempster endorses Quade for next season

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Dempster endorses Quade for next season

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010
2:14 AM

By Patrick MooneyCSNChicago.com

SAN DIEGO Ryan Dempster is nearing the end of his seventh season with the Cubs, so he fully understands what it takes to play every day in the Wrigley Field fishbowl.

His voice carries weight with the young pitchers in the clubhouse and he is well-liked within the organization. He can be insightful and good for a one-liner or two, but overall he measures his words carefully in public.

All that made Dempsters endorsement of Mike Quade resonate. He gave it late Tuesday night after a 5-2 victory at PETCO Park. This late surge might keep the San Diego Padres out of the playoffs and cement Quades candidacy.

Hes been very upfront and very honest with all of us, Dempster said. Hes been tremendously supportive. Hes given us a lot of confidence to go out there. What hes done for the bullpen those guys have really stepped up with his belief in them.

Hes done a great job and I hope that hes here longer than just this year (and) managing for us next year because he deserves it. Hes done everything theyve asked.

While the 87-70 Padres fell two games back in the National League West and 1.5 behind in the wild-card race the Cubs were in a very good mood.

Dempster lobbied for Marlon Byrd to win a Gold Glove after the center fielder made another great diving catch. They were buzzing about the 100 mph fastball Andrew Cashner blew by Adrian Gonzalez to end the eighth inning.

They yelled out High definition! to make fun of Welington Castillos bright orange polo shirt. One staffer put on his sunglasses and walked up to the rookie catcher to get a better look and draw laughter from around the room.

It wasnt quiet because Dempster (15-11) allowed two runs across seven innings, finishing strong by getting three consecutive strikeouts with two runners on in the seventh. And because Alfonso Soriano hit his 23rd and 24th home runs of the season.

The 72-85 Cubs are now 21-11 since Quade took over and beating teams that are fighting to get into the playoffs.

Unbelievable, Byrd said of the job Quades done. The record speaks for itself the way were playing, the way were executing (and) the moves hes making. Hes showing us (that) he has the qualifications (and) can get a team to play for him.

So far, that includes everyone from the rookies out of the bullpen to Carlos Zambrano. Everyone tries to read Zambranos moods and interpret his postgame quotes for a deeper meaning. He stared down a reporter Monday night for describing him in print as a former ace.

Those kind of descriptions I have no time for whatsoever, Quade said. Does an ace mean this moment? Does it mean the entire year (or) body of work? I dont know. You guys sell papers and do what you do names like that mean nothing to me.

Quade isnt into labels though the Cubs purposely didnt name him their interim manager for the final 37 games of the season. He went from the third-base coach who always seemed to be walking quickly through the clubhouse with his head down to meeting with the media before and after every game.

Everybodys different, Quade said. Some people read a lot of stuff, some people dont. I happen to be a guy that pays attention, but doesnt get locked in to 58 articles a day. Other guys are more sensitive to that stuff (but) this is a grow-ups game.

Yes, its a business and Quade understands that. Other candidates will be interviewed. There are only five more games remaining. But hes already won over several key players.

If hes not here (next season), hes had an unbelievable audition, Byrd said. We feel like we owe it to him to play hard. I think everyone (respects) him.

Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

How Addison Russell plans to keep nagging arm/foot injuries at bay in 2018

How Addison Russell plans to keep nagging arm/foot injuries at bay in 2018

Addison Russell doesn't have time to think about whether or not Javy Baez is coming for the starting shortstop gig.

Russell is too busy making sure he's able to perform at his physical peak for as much of 2018 as possible after a rough few years in that regard.

The soon-to-be-24-year-old only played in 110 games last year as he missed more than a month with a foot injury. He also has a history of hamstring injuries (including the one that kept him out of the 2015 NLCS) and a sore throwing arm that has cropped up at times throughout the last few years (though whether the arm is an issue or not depends on who you ask).

Russell admits his arm has been an issue and he has a new plan of attack this winter that will carry into the spring.

"I've been doing a throwing program," Russell said. "I feel like in the past, with my arm, I started throwing a little bit too early in spring training.

"This year, in the offseason, just kinda ease into it a little bit. In the offseason last year, I feel like I threw a little bit too much. Once midseason hit, it was all the downward effect of me throwing too early in the offseason.

"Having that in mind, taking things easier in the offseason and then going into spring training and then once the season's here, maybe around a quarter of the way through the season, start revving it up and that way, I'll be able to last with both my foot and my arm."

Russell had a bad case of plantar fasciitis last summer that also affected his ability to throw the ball to first base.

He joked he feels like an old man because he is happy he can now wake up without any pain in the foot, but still makes sure he rolls his foot on a golf ball to keep things loose.

With regards to his offseason workouts, Russell is prioritizing quality over quantity and he's taken full advantage of the longer offseason that featured far less distractions than a year ago when the Cubs were coming off the first World Series championship in 108 years.

"I'm getting a little bit older and I think a little wiser when it comes to training and knowing my body," Russell said. "With that being said, it's just kinda being in tune to my body more than pounding out weights.

"Definitely running and cardio is something that has been beneficial to my career in the past. I'm keeping up with that."

Between the foot and arm modifications to his training regimen, Russell is hoping to cut down on some of his throwing errors that plagued him in 2017 and try to get back to the hitter he was when he clubbed 24 homers and drove in 108 runs in 168 games between the 2016 regular season and postseason.

"Definitely I want to be in the All-Star Game this next year," Russell said. "I feel like with the type of skillset that I have and the type of guys around me, I think that could be a goal that I could hit.

"Smaller goals as far as staying consistent with my workouts. Remaining flexible is a huge goal that I wanna hit this year. I see a lot of veteran guys after ballgames stretching and they've been playing for quite a while, so it definitely works out for them.

"Just taking something from veteran guys and kinda incorporating it into my game and picking their ear and listening to how they prepare and how to keep your body in shape is beneficial, for sure."

To make the All-Star Game, Russell would need to get out to a hot start, which is something the Cubs and their fans would love to see. His steady presence in the lineup and as a defensive anchor contributed to the inconsistencies of the 2017 Cubs.

Entering a pivotal season in his development, Russell has emerged as one of the biggest X-factors surrounding the Cubs entering 2018. 

The entire Addison Russell 1-on-1 interview will air Friday night on NBC Sports Chicago.

Cubs announce minor league staff for 2018, with many familiar faces receiving new roles

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USA TODAY

Cubs announce minor league staff for 2018, with many familiar faces receiving new roles

The Cubs finalized their minor league staffs for 2018 on Thursday, making changes at numerous staff positions.

The organization has retained managers Marty Pevey (Triple-A Iowa), Mark Johnson (Double-A Tennessee), and Buddy Bailey (Single-A Myrtle Beach) and Jimmy Gonzalez (Single-A South Bend). New to the organization is former Philadelphia Phillies' catcher Steven Lerud. Lerud, 33, will manage Single-A Eugene in 2018.

Eugene also added Jacob Rogers to its staff as assistant hitting coach. Rogers, 28, played in the Cubs organization from 2012-2016. Also new to the organization is Paul McAnulty, who is the new assistant hitting coach for South Bend. McAnulty, 36, played in parts of four seasons with the Padres from 2005-2008 and with the Angels in 2010. He recently served as a coach in the Angels' system in 2016.

Those with new roles for 2018 include Chris Valaika, who is now an assistant coach with Triple-A Iowa. Valaika, 32, began his coaching career last season with rookie league Mesa after playing ten seasons professionally. The former utility player hit .231 in 44 games with the Cubs in 2014.

Like Valaika, former Cubs' farmhand Ben Carhart has a new role with the organization for 2018. Carhart, 27, is now an assistant coach with South Bend after serving as a rehab coach with Mesa last season. From 2012-2016, he hit .270 in 372 minor league games, all in the Cubs' organization.

The Cubs also announced their minor league coordinators for 2018. Holdovers include Darnell McDonald and John Baker. McDonald played for the Cubs in 2013 and will return for his fourth season as the organization's mental skills coordinator. Baker, who played for the Cubs in 2014, will return for his second season as a mental skills coordinator.

Jeremy Farrell returns to the organization for a third season, although 2018 will be his first as the Cubs' minor league infield coordinator. Farrell played in the White Sox farm system from 2013-2015 and is the son of former Red Sox and Blue Jays' manager John Farrell.

Here is a complete list of the organization's major league training staff and minor league managers and staff for 2018: