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James Russell still in mix for Cubs’ 5th starter job

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Cubs manager Mike Quade has a few days to decide who will pitch Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.

That’s the next game that Quade will have to give the ball to a fifth starter.

Lefty James Russell (1-2, 8.00 ERA), who has had two turns in the role, remains a possibility. Russell has lasted only 52/3 innings over both starts, allowing eight runs and 14 hits.

The options at Class AAA Iowa might be limited, with Ramon Ortiz giving up three runs and seven hits in three innings in his last outing April 17.

‘‘Everything is on the table,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I have to sit down with [general manager Jim Hendry] and [assistant GM Randy Bush]. I’ll talk to [Iowa manager] Bill Dancy and the minor-league guys. They have a better feel than I do [of their pitchers].’’

The fourth and fifth
rotation spots are in flux while Randy Wells [strained forearm] and Andrew Cashner [strained shoulder] recuperate. Both threw their first mild sessions Friday.

‘‘It felt good,’’ said Wells, who has been on the disabled list since April 5. ‘‘Today was just light catch. You don’t want to push anything this early. It’s been a long process, but that’s part of it.’’

‘‘Everything feels good,’’ Cashner said.

Chemistry class

Quade has lauded his
players’ attitudes and
perseverance since spring training, crediting the veterans for leadership and the young players for their ‘‘respect.’’

That’s team chemistry.

‘‘There are times when chemistry is overrated,’’ Quade said. ‘‘If you have a bunch of guys who are
simultaneously pulling for each other and playing as a ‘team,’ you’ll win games. You still have to execute and play a certain brand of ball. If you have good chemistry, you’ll get the most out of your team.’’

Crime stopper

Geovany Soto threw out three San Diego Padres attempting to steal in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. Soto became the first Cubs catcher in 15 years to accomplish the feat.

Scott Servais did it to the Cincinnati Reds on April 15, 1996, at Wrigley Field.

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