Aramis Ramirez is “ready to move on” from the Cubs, but Mike Quade said today that he expects to return as Chicago’s manager in 2012 despite a 68-87 record.
Quade got the full-time job after taking over for Lou Piniella last season and going 24-13 down the stretch as interim manager, and he’s at least got the Cubs playing .500 ball since the All-Star break.
“I plan to be back and I plan to do a good job next year,” Quade told Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “That’s he way I look at things. There’s no other way to look at it. Why would I look at it any other way?”
Of course, Muskat notes that Quade has yet to discuss his future with owner Tom Ricketts and there’s a pretty good chance the person hired as general manager will want to bring in his own manager. Quade is under contract for next season, but his future is very much up in the air.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.