08/27/11 10:49 PM ET
Colvin focused on quality at-bats, not numbers
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
"I'm not paying attention to the numbers anymore," the Cubs outfielder said Saturday. "You want to get off to a good start and everything, but it's about having good at-bats and making sure I hit the pitches I'm supposed to and lay off the bad ones. I'm not looking at the numbers anymore right now."
If he did peek, Colvin, who went 2-for-4 in a 6-4 loss on Saturday, would see that he finished the day hitting .149 overall with five homers and 16 RBIs. Although he didn't hit for average last season, batting .254 in 135 games, he did have 20 homers and 56 RBIs. His worst month was August 2010 when he hit .215.
This year, the Cubs' first-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft has not yet hit .200 in any complete month, although he's hitting .212 in 24 games during August.
"It's still a work in progress," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "His numbers haven't been great, but overall, I think his at-bats have been better.
"He still gets after balls, and he needs to learn to take [pitches], and his discipline still has a long way to go, but he's squared up more balls than he did before he left. If you're hitting the ball out of the ballpark, you must be doing that."
Colvin finished the day with hits in eight of his last 14 games since Aug. 13, including a walk-off pinch-hit single in the 10th on Aug. 19, which gave the Cubs a 5-4 win over the Cardinals. What he needs to learn is to not be afraid if he falls behind in the count and to be more selective.
"It's just one of those things where I've got to stay within my game, be a little more patient, get the pitches I need to hit and hit those," Colvin said.
Cashner tosses perfect inning in rehab outing
MILWAUKEE -- Reports on Andrew Cashner's second outing were positive, and the Cubs pitcher, who is rehabbing from a strained right rotator cuff, will make at least three more Minor League appearances.
Cashner threw 15 pitches (10 strikes) in a 1-2-3 inning Friday night for Double-A Tennessee, his second rehab start. He was expected to pitch Monday for the Smokies, who play host to Jacksonville, then join Triple-A Iowa for two relief outings.
"Good, healthy, velocity was OK," Cubs manager Mike Quade said Saturday of his report on Cashner. "He threw the ball well. I heard he wants to be in my bullpen tonight. He's beautiful. You love that. He feels great, he's ready to go.
"We're going to stay with the program and keep him on his outings, so when he gets back here, he's as ready as he can be. I don't want him to get so anxious to get back here that it takes away from what he's doing."
Cashner has been on the disabled list since April 6, and when he does join the Cubs in September, he will be used in relief. Quade will defer to the medical staff as to what Cashner can do.
"The truth of the matter is, however I use him will be how I'm told to use him," Quade said.
It was a beautiful, sunny day in Milwaukee on Saturday, but Cubs pitcher Sean Marshall was monitoring Hurricane Irene's path as it moved up the East Coast. His parents live in Richmond, Va., and Marshall was checking his cell phone often for updates. The area was belted with 55 mph winds early Saturday, which uprooted a neighbor's tree.
Cubs manager Mike Quade said he wasn't upset about second baseman Darwin Barney's decision to throw to third base in the fifth inning on Friday. The throw was off target, and the error enabled two runs to score in the Cubs' 5-2 loss to the Brewers.
"We've watched Barney play an excellent second base and do a [heck] of a job," Quade said. "Do I ever think he'll have a year defensively where he makes no errors? No, I don't. He, like everybody else, is going to get better the more they experience things and the more comfortable they get here.
"Part of it is being comfortable," Quade said. "You get wrapped up in a game here. You think, 'I've got a shot at this guy.' If he makes a good throw, maybe [he does get him]. If he makes a throw to [third baseman Aramis Ramirez] on the money, nobody says a word."
Barney has committed 12 errors this season, second-most in the National League to the Braves' Dan Uggla (14) among second basemen.
Another player who is working on his defense is pitcher Matt Garza. In his last start Thursday, he fielded a ball and threw about 100 mph to first baseman Carlos Pena.
"You watch his body language, and he's always telling himself when he gets a pitch up to 'Settle down, settle down,'" Quade said. "Somehow he'll have to incorporate that with game action with his fielding. ... He's such a high strung, high energy guy. Something as simple as picking up the ball and throwing it to [Pena] at 85 miles an hour instead of 105 is tough for him. He knows it."
Garza has made seven errors this season, which leads the Major Leagues among pitchers.
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.