Pena can put ‘teacher’s aide’ on his resumé
By GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org February 23, 2011 10:44PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs are learning more every day about how much they’re getting for the $10 million they spent on first baseman Carlos Pena.
On Wednesday, they got another instructor on the practice field during pop-up drills.
Pena, who came with a reputation as a good teammate with leadership qualities, showed it when he asked manager Mike Quade if it was OK to tell other players some of his ideas for completing the plays they were practicing. Quade already had been preaching about communication.
It was a small point, ‘‘but he had a different angle, which was great,’’ Quade said. ‘‘It’s a group effort in so many ways, and also you have people that have been exposed to other organizations and have heard other instructors emphasize different things.
‘‘I’m happy he felt comfortable making the point and coming to me and asking, ‘How about this?’ and ‘Is it OK?’ Absolutely, it’s OK. People get tired of listening to me. Let Carlos talk. It’s great.’’
The Cubs have two players on Baseball America’s annual Top 100 Prospects list, which was released Wednesday: outfielder Brett Jackson (38th) and right-hander Trey McNutt (48th). Both are in big-league camp this spring.
Two more organizational products the Cubs shipped to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Matt Garza deal — pitcher Chris Archer (27th) and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee (92nd) — also made the list.
Cubs pitchers escaped unharmed from their one day of sliding practice.
‘‘We got through with only one cartwheel, and nobody got hurt. That’s a good day,’’ Quade said.
◆ Quade on the first 10 days of his first spring training as a big-league manager: ‘‘I’ve been thrilled to death with the energy and the way people are going about their business.’’