CHICAGO -- Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was in Arizona on Tuesday to interview Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg for the team's managerial job next year. However, Mike Quade is making a strong case to keep the job.
The Cubs entered Tuesday's series against the National League West-leading Giants with a 12-4 record in September. It's a baseball cliche that it's tough to evaluate players in the final month because of all the callups. Is that true for the team, too?
"I'm an optimist," Quade said Tuesday. "You see this club play well here at the end and if they continue to play well and they play this thing out in the next two weeks in good fashion, I'd go home and whoever gets the job next year should be excited about this job. That's the way I feel. It has no bearing on what happens this winter with Jim and what moves he makes. A lot of guys have finished up well."
Sandberg wrapped up his fourth year as a Minor League manager. He guided Triple-A Iowa to an 82-62 record and won Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year honors.
Hendry was in Arizona to formally interview Sandberg, who has made it clear he wants the job.
Since Quade took over on Aug. 23 for Lou Piniella, the Cubs have gone 17-7. That's pretty impressive.
"Coming into the situation, it couldn't be much better than this last road trip," Quade said of an 8-1 trip to Milwaukee, St. Louis and Florida. "Having said that, I didn't make one pitch, I didn't swing the bat, I didn't play defense so the credit goes to the [guys in the] clubhouse.
"I think they're having fun and they're playing the last six weeks on a club that hasn't had a very good year," Quade said. "We've talked about the process and things I've asked for them, but more than anything we wanted to make the last six weeks matter and not just play out the string, so to speak, and to their credit, they have."
Does he think this squad can contend in 2011?
"Maybe it sounds crazy, but, yeah, I think so," he said.
Injured Colvin reassures teammate
CHICAGO -- Cubs catcher Welington Castillo called Tyler Colvin on Monday to apologize after his bat broke and struck the Cubs rookie in the chest on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Colvin was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and headed home to South Carolina. It was not known if he will rejoin the Cubs for the final two weeks of games.
Colvin was struck under the collarbone by the bat during the Cubs' game against the Marlins as he ran home from third on Castillo's hit.
"I feel really bad," Castillo said Tuesday. "I hope he's doing good. ... I talked to him and he sounds real good. I said, 'I'm sorry.'"
Castillo said he has always used maple bats because the wood is harder and more durable but has never had one break and hit a player.
"You can't worry about it," he said. "You just have to keep playing."
Colvin was in good spirits when the two talked.
"He laughed a lot with me and told me, 'Don't worry about it, I'm fine and I'll see you soon' and he told me to keep playing hard," Castillo said.
Cubs manager Mike Quade also checked in with Colvin on Monday.
"I think he was shaken up," Quade said of the rookie outfielder, who was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with pneumothorax. "It sounds like the prognosis was very good and things will be OK. Obviously, it was such an unusual injury that just shook him up a great deal."
Colvin was on third when Castillo hit a double to left, the bat flying down the third base-line and striking the outfielder under the left collarbone.
"I didn't see it -- most of us didn't," Quade said. "We follow the baseball. I didn't know until Tyler got just in front of the dugout and I saw somebody go to help him. I thought maybe he pulled a muscle or whatever, and all of a sudden, he got stabbed. I was as shocked as anybody."
The incident has prompted discussion on whether ballplayers should be allowed to use maple bats. Hall of Famer Billy Williams said he used ash in Double-A and stuck with it for his career.
"I'm surprised a lot more people haven't been hurt, especially pitchers because they're so close to the hitters," Williams said.
Kosuke Fukudome will get the majority of playing time in right field for the Cubs in the final two weeks of the season.
"He's played like a son of a gun and has earned the right to finish up there," Quade said of Fukudome, whose Japanese hitting coach arrived Tuesday for a one-week visit.
Gorzelanny to start Friday for Cubs
CHICAGO -- Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny will return to the Cubs rotation Friday for the first time since Sept. 1, while Carlos Silva threw a bullpen session Tuesday in hopes of getting one more start this year.
Gorzelanny (7-8, 3.90 ERA) has been sidelined after taking a line drive off his left hand on Sept. 1.
Silva (10-6, 4.22 ERA) has not pitched since Sept. 7. He was scratched from his last scheduled start Sept. 13 because of a right shoulder strain.
"We'll have to see how quickly [Silva] comes back," Cubs manager Mike Quade said.
The Cubs' rotation for the final home series against the Cardinals will be Gorzelanny on Friday, Casey Coleman (2-2, 5.02 ERA) on Saturday and Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 6.00 ERA) on Sunday.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.