08/25/10 11:27 PM ET
Silva to rejoin Cubs shortly after rehab start
By Pete Kerzel / Special to MLB.com
"We'd like to see [Silva] throw well and get him back," interim manager Mike Quade said. "The more options the better [as] we're approaching September."
Silva, who is 10-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 20 starts, has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 2 for a cardiac evaluation. He underwent a cardiac ablation, an outpatient procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, on Aug. 9.
"He says he feels great after that [procedure]," Quade said. "You know, technology's amazing. Rebuilding a guy's arm and rebuilding a guy's heart. Unbelievable."
Cubs must be patient with Castro's growth
WASHINGTON -- Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro committed his team-high 20th error Tuesday night, when he sailed a throw to second base into right field in the first inning of the Cubs' 5-4 win over the Nationals.
That's an unusually high number, considering the rookie has appeared in only 98 games and that the Cubs have committed a National League-high 103 errors as a team.
Cubs interim manager Mike Quade isn't concerned with Castro's rising totals, mainly because he's young. Maturity, Quade said, will fix a lot of the 20-year-old's fielding issues. Castro's error total is second in the Majors to another rookie shortstop, Washington's Ian Desmond.
"You have to be able to slow things down," Quade said. "That doesn't mean you nonchalant something, but in your mind you slow things down, which allows you to make plays and be more consistent in what you're doing."
When Quade was a coach in Oakland, he saw a young Miguel Tejada go through the same thing before he morphed into an All-Star. So the new skipper understands the learning process and figures that continued work with the two Cubs coaches who were long-time Major League infielders -- four-time Gold Glove winner Alan Trammell and 15-year veteran Ivan DeJesus, a perennial leader among National League shortstops in putouts and assists during his career -- will continue to pay dividends.
What Quade isn't sure of is whether Castro needs to play winter ball in his native Dominican Republic.
"He's in a hotbed of winter ball -- no reason he can't do some of that," Quade said. "I've always believed that after a long Major League season, you need to step back and take some time off. ... There's a delicate balance between recharging and cleaning some of this stuff up.
"The more you play, the more experience you get -- many of these problems and mistakes are going to be cleared up by experience. But if you're a tired player, experience may not be the answer. We'll have to see."
Zambrano expects to stay on schedule
WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Carlos Zambrano, who left the Cubs after winning Tuesday's start against the Nationals to visit his critically ill nephew in Venezuela, is expected to return to the team Saturday in Cincinnati and take his next scheduled turn on the mound Monday at home against Pittsburgh.
Interim manager Mike Quade said pitching coach Larry Rothschild would be in frequent contact with Zambrano over the next couple of days to determine if those plans change. But Quade has yet to develop a contingency plan in case family issues prevent Zambrano from making his Monday start.
In the event Zambrano is not available, the schedule and existing personnel could factor into Quade's decision.
"We have the off-day [Thursday] to play with," Quade said. "[Right-hander Thomas] Diamond has started -- he's here. There would be options. If something goes poorly in Venezuela, and he's not able to be back, Larry will be in contact with him on a regular basis. We'll get the heads-up early on."
Soriano enjoys playing D.C. long ball
WASHINGTON -- Ask Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano how good it feels to hit a home run in D.C. against the Washington Nationals and he'll smile.
Tuesday's homer in the Cubs' 5-4 win was his third in five career games at Nationals Park, a stadium that could have been his home had Washington not let him go after 2006, after which he signed an eight-year, $136 million contract with the Cubs.
"I wanted to be back and they didn't want me," joked Soriano with some old friends from Washington before Wednesday's finale of a three-game series. A visit to Washington always provides motivation to do well, he said.
Lifetime against the Nationals, Soriano was a .295 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs in 25 games, heading into Wednesday. But three of those homers have come in the five games he's played at Nationals Park since it opened three seasons ago.
"Three times," he said. "Not bad, huh?"
Soriano promptly added his fourth homer in six games at Nationals Park with a solo shot in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 4-0 victory.
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.