04/22/11 9:06 PM ET
Cubs undecided about Tuesday starter
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Quade said he wanted to meet with general manager Jim Hendry and assistant general manager Randy Bush first, as well as talk to Triple-A Iowa manager Bill Dancy and Double-A Tennessee manager Bryan Harper.
Russell is 0-2 with a 12.71 ERA in his two starts, giving up eight earned runs on 14 hits over 5 2/3 innings so far. Quade hasn't completely ruled out Russell for Tuesday's game. The Cubs are trying to fill Andrew Cashner's spot in the rotation.
"If we have another option, if we have someone who is ready, I'd like to explore that," Quade said. "Everything's on the table still until we take a closer look at it."
Dempster meets Lilly as friend, foe
CHICAGO -- Ted Lilly was there for Ryan Dempster both as a teammate and as a friend, but on Saturday, they will square off for the first time on opposite sides.
Lilly will start for the Dodgers while Dempster will go for the Cubs in the second of this three-game series between the two teams at Wrigley Field. The Dodgers won the first game, 12-2.
"I think the guys in the lineup, I love the thought of facing them, to pitch against my ex-teammates, and I'm pretty sure they are all itching to get in the box and hit one back at my face," Lilly said.
Dempster was presented with a check for $45,000 prior to the game, from proceeds raised by sales of the Chicago Cubs Cookbook, which Lilly helped to coordinate.
Friday also was 22q Awareness Day at Wrigley, hosted by Dempster. Fans received a special Dempster photo card and support bracelets. Dempster also hosted 175 kids, nurses and supporters in the fight against 22q. Abby Oates, who is affected by 22q, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Dempster's daughter, Riley, who turned 2 on April 1, has 22q, which also is known as DiGeorge Syndrome.
"The Cubs played a big part in all of this and being supportive of us and the foundation," Dempster said. "Something like this has never happened for 22q to be at a Major League ballpark and create huge awareness. I can't say, 'Thank you,' enough."
It's perfect timing to have Lilly back at Wrigley Field.
"He was a big help to me going through everything when Riley was born," Dempster said. "He broadened his shoulders to help take some of the pressure off me and relieve me of a lot of the stress, and not just that but he's contributed financially and emotionally.
"It's been overwhelming," Dempster said. "He's a true, true friend of mine."
Lilly feels the same.
"We have a mutual feeling of gratefulness to have the opportunity to do this, to play Major League Baseball," Lilly said. "We both love the game. We love the spirit of competition. There's a commonality between each other and competition is the best way to do it.
"He's my brother from another mother."
On Saturday, that friendship will be on hold.
"That's the best," Dempster said. "I wouldn't have it any other way. Some of your best competitors are your best friends. I've competed against him for as long as I've known him. He'll bring out the best in me, and I hope I do the same."
The two will likely get together for dinner Friday night.
"I'll get to see him a whole bunch today and go out there and beat his butt tomorrow," Dempster said.
Castro bats third against Dodgers
CHICAGO -- Starlin Castro ranks among the National League leaders in hits, multihit games and batting average, and on Friday, he was in the No. 3 spot in the batting order for the second game for the Cubs.
That's asking a lot from a 21-year-old.
"I'll do the same," Castro said Friday. "Leadoff, second, anywhere. I'll do my work."
Castro batted third in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader, but that was partly because manager Mike Quade gave Marlon Byrd the day off. Castro went 1-for-4 with a walk on Friday while Byrd, batting in the sixth spot, also had a hit in four at-bats.
"It's just a function of a little bit of everything -- a little performance, matchups, a lot of different stuff," Quade said of his lineup, which he promised would change on Saturday.
Castro began the season in the No. 2 hole and batted .286 there. He was moved into the leadoff spot and thrived, hitting .463. On Wednesday in the No. 3 spot, he went 1-for-4.
"With 'Cassie' there, it's just that I think he can handle it and he's playing well enough to use him as an option in the three-hole," Quade said. "I'm comfortable with him 1-2-3 right now."
Aramis Ramirez, who is the Cubs' No. 4 hitter, said he didn't expect Castro to change his approach.
"He has to do the same thing, just in a different spot in the order," Ramirez said. "There's a little more responsibility because you'll have RBI chances, but it's the same thing."
Cashner, Wells begin throwing programs
CHICAGO -- Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells felt like pitchers again on Friday.
The two Cubs starting pitchers, both on the disabled list, began their throwing programs in the rain at Wrigley Field prior to the team's 12-2 loss to the Dodgers, with each throwing about 40 times on flat ground.
"It was nice to go out and play catch and get the feel of the baseball again," said Wells, who is sidelined with a strained right forearm. "It's a long process. I've never been hurt before. I just have to take my time and try not to rush it."
Wells had a head start. He was allowed to play catch a little bit on Monday before he was re-examined by the team's orthopedic specialist. Cashner has a strained right rotator cuff, and Friday was the first time he was allowed to throw since he made his first Major League start on April 5.
"Everything feels good, no pain," Cashner said. "I was excited to come in today and get to throw the ball and be part of the team again."
There are no timetables for their returns.
"It feels real good -- just need some warm weather now," Cashner said.
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.