Quade doesn’t regret using Zambrano in pinch
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org May 25, 2011 10:58PM
Updated: July 3, 2011 1:07PM
Despite taking a few shots from critics on the local airwaves, manager Mike Quade said he has no regrets over using Carlos Zambrano to pinch-hit in the seventh inning of a 7-1 game Tuesday night — not with only two available position players on his bench and two of their starting counterparts playing through stiffness in the cold weather.
Even if the Cubs have three of their season-opening starting pitchers on the disabled list.
‘‘He’s probably healthier than most of the guys on this club,’’ Quade said. ‘‘Given the situation we were in at that point, it really only made sense to me to get him down there and let him stretch and get loose and get an at-bat. . . . If I was concerned at all, I wouldn’t have done it.’’
General manager Jim Hendry backed Quade’s decision.
Zambrano has 30 career plate appearances as a pinch hitter. His two-run single snapped an 0-for-13 pinch drought.
Rehabbing catcher Geovany Soto (groin) caught three innings and had five at-bats in an extended-spring game Wednesday in preparation for a planned two-game rehab assignment with Class AA Tennessee.
Barring a setback, he would be activated Saturday, the same day pitcher Randy Wells (forearm) returns from the disabled list.
◆ Quade said he’s trying to avoid using gimpy infielder Jeff Baker (strained groin Sunday) in hopes of using him against Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm on Saturday.
◆ Fourteen of the Cubs’ 24 home games have been played in game-time temperatures below 50 degrees, including both games on this homestand and the finale of the last homestand.