08/12/11 7:03 PM ET
Cubs sign Draft pick Gretzky, Great One's son
By Chris Cox / MLB.com
Gretzky, 18, is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound first baseman who has committed to play for San Diego State University. He reportedly received $375,000.
"The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Trevor Gretzky to the organization," general manager Jim Hendry said. "It was a pleasure working with the Gretzky family on this contract, and we are excited by Trevor's decision to begin his pro baseball career with the Cubs."
Gretzky, who hits left-handed and throws right-handed, hit .393 with 10 doubles and 27 RBIs last season for Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif.
The Cubs still have some work to do before the signing deadline. They've yet to sign their first- and second-round selections, Javier Baez and Daniel Vogelbach. Baez, however, taken with the ninth overall pick, hinted on his Facebook page earlier this week that a signing could be close.
Teams have until 11:01 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Aug. 16, to come to terms with their draftees, meaning official notification has to be in the Commissioner's Office at that time. A team that does not sign its first- or second-round pick will receive a compensatory pick in the 2012 Draft. That selection will come at the same slot, plus one. In other words, if a team doesn't sign the No. 9 overall pick, it would receive the No. 10 pick -- technically 9A -- the following year. A team does not receive a 2012 pick if it does not come to terms with a selection made with a compensation pick this year.
Struggling Colvin to get a chance to rebound
ATLANTA -- Manager Mike Quade said on Friday that he plans to put Tyler Colvin in the lineup beginning Saturday, and that the struggling outfielder could get a chance to play over the course of the next several days.
"We're looking to put him in the right spots," Quade said. "We've got a wonderful stretch coming up, with five right-handers we're going to see. That's the way I wanted to get him started up here, really, get him most of his at-bats against right-handers.
"He'll have a better chance to succeed and get himself going again."
After facing Braves lefty Mike Minor on Friday, the Cubs will deal with five consecutive righties, against whom Colvin has seen most of his success this season. He's hitting .137 off right-handers, with four homers and 10 RBIs, compared with the .071 average and one RBI he's recorded off southpaws.
The Cubs wanted to get Colvin more playing time when they traded Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians, but that hasn't happened, thanks in part to the red-hot bat of Reed Johnson.
Johnson, who is hitting .349 with 25 RBIs, has seven hits in his last two games and tied a career high with four hits on Wednesday against the Nationals.
"I do have guys that have been playing pretty well," Quade said. "Reed's not been doing too bad. [All the right-handers coming up] gives me an opportunity to get them in a situation where they can succeed."
That said, Quade has no intentions of altering his plans based on the outcome of Friday's game.
"Reed could go 4-for-4 with four homers [on Friday] and he's going to get tomorrow off. He understands that, too," he said. "We're going to continue to put Tyler in really good situations, to give him a chance to be the guy that we think he can be."
Quade shows his respect for Braves' Cox
ATLANTA -- Braves fans weren't the only ones happy to see former manager Bobby Cox have his No. 6 retired on Friday night at Turner Field.
Throw Cubs manager Mike Quade in that group as well.
"There's all sorts of reasons you respect the guy," Quade said. "He's old school. ... He's done just about everything you can do in this game, from this side of the fence, anyway. He has such an incredible respect for the game."
Quade spent five seasons in the Montreal Expos organization in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During that time the Expos shared a Spring Training complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., with the Braves. Naturally, Quade received quite a few chances to learn from Cox.
"It was a great environment," Quade said. "If you were willing to listen, and I was ... [you would] learn a lot about development, the big leagues and about everything else."
Quade recalled a billboard at Wrigley Field last season that honored Cox when he and former Cubs manager Lou Piniella were facing each other for the final time.
The sign read, "Bravo Bobby! Cheers to 29 Years!"
"I thought [that was] as good a tribute as you'll ever see in Chicago to a visiting player or manager," Quade said. "That spoke volumes about what people think of him."
The Cubs entered Friday's series opener in Atlanta having won each of their last five road games, their longest winning streak away from Wrigley Field since an eight-game run last September.
Chicago has won three straight series for the first time since last September. A series win over Atlanta would represent the first time since 2008 that the Cubs won four in a row.
The Cubs' 8-2 record in August is their best start to the month since 1984, when they also went 8-2.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.