Mike Quade Planning For September Call-Ups


September is a very interesting month in regards to the baseball season. During the last month of the regular season, there are teams that are making a final push for the playoffs and there are teams that play spoilers. It is no secret what the Chicago Cubs are this season. For the second year in a row, the Cubs will play spoilers and will do it under the leadership or lack thereof from manager Mike Quade. Quade is once again managing for his job and hopes for a strong finish in order to protect his position with the Cubs. However, Quade’s desire to win in order to save his job may interfere with where the Cubs want to go in the future.

One of the reasons why September is so interesting is because the playing rosters expand from 25 to 40. Giving teams the chance to add players in order to push for the playoffs, or in the Cubs case, examine prospects may be a piece of the team’s long term future. But with Quade having a preference to play veterans over prospects, Cubs fans may not be given the chance to see outfielder Brett Jackson, pitcher Trey McNutt, or even third baseman Josh Vitters for that matter.

The biggest factor to Quade when determining playing time, is who has earned it. He said as much today when he told reporters that he will not play right fielder Tyler Colvin everyday until the second-year outfielder earns that right. It may be tough for Colvin to earn that right considering Quade does not appear willing to put Colvin in the lineup on an everyday basis. God forbid Quade does not play Reed Johnson or Jeff Baker, after all, the Cubs manger is vying for the playoffs his spot with the team.

But instead of examining a mistake that Quade had made all season, lets observe the mistake that the Cubs manager is about to make in the month September. When asked about potential September call-ups, Quade mentioned a couple of players that will probably be with the team in September, and two other players that in all likelihood won’t.

"Among the players he’s watching are right-hander Casey Coleman, who has a 2.77 ERA in his past two starts, giving up four earned runs on 11 hits over 13 innings. He’s 4-2 with a 3.91 ERA in 11 starts at Triple-A Iowa.“He’s pitching better,” Quade said of Coleman, who has already been called up to the big leagues twice to fill in because of injuries. “The people in Iowa who are watching him and his progress, stuff-wise, command-wise, they have a good feel for that.“September is coming. If he’s making progress and doing a good job, I expect to see him and expect to see him pitch some. I’ll let those guys keep us posted on what they think. His last few outings have been good.”"

It is no secret that Coleman has struggled this season in his chances with the Major League team. But I would much rather see a young pitcher in Coleman struggle but progress at the major league level, then seeing a washed-up Rodrigo Lopez, Ramon Ortiz or Doug Davis struggle and regress with Cubs. There is no reason why Coleman should not already be with the team, pitching as the team’s fifth starter instead of Lopez. But from the sounds of it, we will see Coleman in September. Though, the true test will be whether Quade puts Coleman in the rotation or in the bullpen. Along with Coleman, Quade admitted that first baseman Bryan LaHair will also be a September call-up.

But no offense to LaHair, he is not the player that most fans want to see. Brett Jackons is on the minds’ of every Cubs fan, and it should be rather obvious that the Cubs top prospect is ready for the major league level. However, Quade does not think so. In fact, it is looking more and more likely that neither Jackson nor Trey McNutt will be on the major league roster in September.

"Quade knows people are eager to see prospects like outfielder Brett Jackson, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in 2009, and pitcher Trey McNutt. They most likely will not be added.“You can talk about the Jacksons and some of the other people we’re excited about, some of the younger players, but I’d like to see guys here who are ready to be here and ready to be taking a serious look at,” Quade said. “I think by the end of the season at both Double-A and Triple-A, we’ll have a better idea.”"

That may be the most idiotic statement that Quade has made all season. In Quade’s words, he wants to see “guys here who are ready to be here and ready to be taking a serious look at.” A word of advice to the Cubs manager, how about you plan a re-union with the Iowa Cubs and take in a few games. Better yet, all Quade needs to do is look at any of the numerous baseball statistical websites and search the name Brett Jackson. Quade would discover that the Cubs’ top prospect is tearing the cover off the ball with the Iowa Cubs as Jackson is hitting .450/.511/.825/1.336 with 4 home runs in his last 10 games.  I do not know what else Jackson has to do to prove that he is ready, and ready to be “taking a serious look at.”

Never has a general manager/manager tandem gotten under my skin as much as Jim Hendry and Quade have, but within the past couple of weeks, my frustration level with Quade has soared past my frustration level with Hendry. Quade is a damn fool if he honestly expects us to believe that Jackson is not ready. One of the benefits of social media and the endless amount of baseball resources on the Internet is that it makes fans allergic to the complete nonsense that managers try to feed us.