Yesterday afternoon Will Carroll reported that the Cubs were poised to take the interim tag from Mike Quade and make him the full time boss. He also said that they were going to name Ryne Sandberg bench coach. He said these moves could come as early as next week.
I buy the Quade part, as some People Who Know Things have been telling me for a while that they think he’ll get the job. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times casts doubt on the Ryne Sandberg part of that, however, saying that Quade and Sandberg on the same staff isn’t likely. Which makes some intuitive sense in that Sandberg probably doesn’t want to play second fiddle — he has made a point of saying that he is ready to manage, not apprentice — and in that Quade probably doesn’t want a popular “people’s choice” type of guy on staff, because the minute things go sideways with the Cubs folks will be second guessing, calling for Sandberg to take over and all of that kind of nonsense.
As is always the case, we’ll see. For what it’s worth, those People Who Know Things say that the reason they think Quade will get the job is that he’s really popular among the players. Players like Ryan Dempster. Maybe not players like Joe Borowski, though. But really: you lettin’ Joe Borowski decide things? What are you, nuts?
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.