09/24/10 6:37 PM ET
Byrd suffers facial cut from foul ball
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Byrd had a small facial cut and a bruise after getting hit in the third inning in Friday's 7-1 loss to the Cardinals. His status is day to day.
He made another diving catch on Thursday, adding to his already feature-length personal highlight reel of defensive plays. As far as Cubs manager Mike Quade is concerned, Byrd should be considered for a Gold Glove. Other center field contenders, Quade said, include the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen, the Phillies' Shane Victorino and the Astros' Michael Bourn. All three run better than Byrd but he gets good reads off the bat.
"[Byrd] is in the conversation for sure," Quade said.
Byrd has struggled lately, batting .224 in September, and was hitting .215 in the No. 3 spot in the batting order. He took over when Derrek Lee was traded Aug. 18 to the Braves.
"I find the three-hole has nothing to do with that," Quade said of Byrd's numbers. "He loves the challenge. There's not a challenge on this planet that he doesn't enjoy.
"He's our best hitter day in and day out average-wise," Quade said. "He had a lot of success in the three-hole before struggling a little bit lately. It's the ups and downs of the season. You watch him play and how hard he plays and he never wants a day off."
When Byrd made the great catch Thursday, the Giants had an 11-0 lead. He could've let the ball drop.
"He's oblivious [to the score]," Quade said. "When it comes to effort, the score doesn't matter. You want that in everybody. He's got a job to do and takes great pride in his defense. You're going to see him leave his feet no matter what the situation was."
The wind Thursday also made the play tough.
"That [catch and effort] is who he is," Quade said. "That exemplifies to me, who Marlon Byrd is."
Archer's Minors season to be honored
CHICAGO -- Chris Archer, the Cubs' Minor League pitcher of the year, had a chance to get a bullpen session in at Wrigley Field on Friday.
Archer and outfielder Brandon Guyer, named the organization's player of the year, were to be honored Saturday prior to the Cubs' game against the Cardinals.
Archer, 21, combined to go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA (37 earned runs in 142 1/3 innings) in 28 games between Class A Daytona and Tennessee. He struck out 149 in 142 1/3 innings and walked 65. He credited Minor League pitching coordinator Mark Riggins with helping him get on track.
"Some things fell in place and I started to feel a lot more comfortable," said Archer, who improved command of his fastball. "Everybody has told me once you start throwing strikes, you're going to move fast and be successful and that's what's happening."
Originally selected by the Indians in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft, Archer was acquired along with pitchers Jeff Stevens and John Gaub in the December 2006 trade for infielder Mark DeRosa. He knows how popular DeRosa was in Chicago.
"I let it motivate me because I wanted to prove to the fans and show they made a good decision," he said.
Archer will pitch for the U.S. team in the Pan American Qualifying Team tournament in Puerto Rico, which begins next week.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.