MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs manager Mike Quade had plenty of reading material for the flight from Phoenix to Chicago on Wednesday. He's perusing two large red-covered notebooks loaded with statistics as he finalizes the Opening Day lineup.
Three spots are set -- Starlin Castro at No. 2, followed by Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez.
Still to be determined is who starts at second base. Rookie Darwin Barney has impressed the team with his defense and could get the nod, Quade said. Blake DeWitt started at third base on Wednesday in an intrasquad game.
"We need to get him swinging the bat," Quade said of DeWitt, who was 11-for-59 this spring.
Expect Kosuke Fukudome to be leading off against most right-handers this year. Quade wasn't fretting over the outfielder's .173 average this spring.
"He's somebody I don't worry about," Quade said. "I love his at-bats. I love that he sees a lot of pitches. He'll hit better than he did down here. He's always had a pretty good on-base percentage and that's what you're looking for in the top spot."
The Cubs also are counting on Fukudome to have another strong April. He has a career .326 average in the first month. How will Quade handle having four outfielders for three spots? He'll figure out a way to get Fukudome, Tyler Colvin, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano enough at-bats.
"Sometimes that works itself out," he said. "If it's a headache for me all year, that means it's a good headache."
There is no Lenny Harris or Dave Hansen or Daryl Ward on the Cubs bench this year. They don't have a prototypical pinch-hitter.
"You hope that whoever has that off day, be it Colvin, be it [Fukudome], be it [Soriano], be it [Blake] DeWitt, be it [Jeff] Baker or Barney, those guys can all contribute swinging the bat," Quade said. "There can be an art to pinch-hitting. Those guys are versatile as heck, all capable of starting and contributing, so why wouldn't they be able to handle those pinch-hit roles?"
Andrew Cashner will not accompany the team to Chicago on Wednesday, but instead stay back in Arizona to throw in the Cubs Minor League camp. Cashner wasn't too happy about that. "He was like, mad," Quade said. "He didn't want to stay back. He wants to go with the club." Cashner, scheduled to start April 5 against the D-Backs, will fly to Chicago on Thursday so he can be at Wrigley Field in time for the Opening Day festivities ... Catcher Max Ramirez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. He hit .294 this spring but was slowed by a sore left wrist ... Quade's parents and brother will be in the crowd at Wrigley Field for Opening Day. He has a lot of friends who want to be there as well. "It's going to be a great day for me and I'm glad they're there, but I'm not asking everybody to drop everything and come to the ballpark," he said. "I hope to be here for a little while so there are other days people can come. It'll be a nice day for me and nice day for them." ... The Cubs will work out at Wrigley Field on Thursday in preparation of the season opener ... The Cubs wrapped up their preseason schedule on Wednesday with an intrasquad game at HoHoKam Park. The Minor Leaguers beat the Major League squad, 8-6, in front of 3,993 fans. The game gave Randy Wells one more tuneup before the regular season starts. The right-hander, who will be No. 4 in the rotation, gave up one run on two hits and one walk over three innings. Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt were both 2-for-2 and Darwin Barney hit a two-run home run. Josh Vitters hit an RBI triple for the Minor League team. The Cubs' Minor Leaguers actually played most of the game. The Major Leaguers had two at-bats and then were lifted.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.