The Cubs expect to make a decision on Mike “dead man walking” Quade within a week

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Theo Epstein met with manager Mike Quade on Friday to discuss Quade’s future [cough!] lack thereof [cough!] with the Cubs. No word since then, but this afternoon Epstein was asked and he said that they had “a productive conversation” and that they hope to have a decision on Quade within a week.

I’ve mentioned before that, when I was in Mesa, Arizona during spring training last year, I observed a bunch of Rush memorabilia in Quade’s office.  As such, he would no doubt understand the concept which goes “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”  That’s more about free will (duh) than inevitability, but it’s close enough.  If the Cubs thought Quade was their huckleberry, they would have said so by now.

Quade is under contract for 2012, of course, so it would behoove him to wait to be fired rather than quit.  But man, you know damn well that he’d love to just up and quit right now.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.