08/29/11 10:31 PM ET
Dunston helps son transition to pro ball
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
And his dad couldn't be more proud of his son.
Shawon Dunston Sr., the former Cubs shortstop and current coach on the Giants, said it was an interesting few days leading up to the Aug. 15 signing deadline. The Cubs selected Shawon Jr. in the 11th round. He was considering going to school at Vanderbilt and took summer school classes there, which gave him a chance to meet the coaches and some of the players on the baseball team.
"I said, 'They're offering you first-round money and you haven't done anything yet, and you've got to look at that and you're young,'" the elder Dunston said of the Cubs' offer of $1.275 million, which was over slot and included money for college. "I said, 'For you to get this money back in college, everything has to go right, and when I say everything, I mean everything.'"
His son, a high school outfielder, decided he wanted to play baseball. He went through an initiation at the Cubs' facility in Mesa, Ariz., and will return for the instructional league, which begins Sept. 15. His dad has prepared him with lots of hitting sessions.
"I go up and in on him, and I throw over his head," Dunston said. "He said, 'No dad does that.' I said, 'Listen, when I'm pitching to you, I'm not your father. Just focus and just play.' I said, 'Hit a line drive right back at my forehead.'"
Dunston, who was the Cubs' first-round pick in 1982, still has lots of fans in Chicago who now follow his son on Twitter. OK, who has the better arm?
"I have a better arm," Dad said.
"That's a good question," Dunston said. "He's pretty fast. He has long strides. He's smarter and he's much more educated."
One thing he still needs to develop is a passion for the game.
"Daddy loves the game," Dunston said of himself. "He's not quite like me as far as the passion for the game. When he gets up there, playing against those guys, it'll kick in."
Cubs mulling September callups
SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Cubs return home Friday, manager Mike Quade, interim general manager Randy Bush and player development director Oneri Fleita will meet to discuss possible callups. And Brett Jackson's name is certain to come up.
The Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Jackson was promoted from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa in mid-July. In 42 games at Iowa, the outfielder has hit .319 with 12 doubles, two triples, nine homers and six stolen bases.
He got off to a slow start, hitting .233 in his first 17 games, but was batting .369 in August. If called up, Jackson's service-time clock would start ticking. Do the Cubs feel he's ready? Is it worth it to call him up now or wait?
"I want to do what's right for the organization and the kid, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart," Quade said Monday. "He's a fine-looking young player. People who are watching him and see him every day are in a good position to make a decision as to whether we should bring him up here."
The Cubs were expected to add catcher Welington Castillo, who was hitting .286 with 15 home runs and 35 RBIs in 61 games with Iowa, and first baseman Bryan LaHair, who was named to the All-Pacific Coast League team Monday. He belted his Minor League-best 37th homer Monday night and now has tied Iowa's franchise record for home runs in a single season, set by Joe Hicks in 1984.
Cashner fans side in Double-A rehab inning
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs pitcher Andrew Cashner struck out all three batters he faced in his third rehab outing Monday for Double-A Tennessee.
Cashner threw 16 pitches, 11 for strikes. The right-hander, who has been on the disabled list since April 6 with a strained right rotator cuff, was expected to move up to Triple-A Iowa next for at least two more appearances.
If all goes well, Cashner will join the big league team when it returns Friday for a six-game homestand.
In his three rehab outings, Cashner has struck out six, giving up three hits and not walking a batter over 2 2/3 innings.
Cashner, who turns 25 on Sept. 11, was expected to start in the Arizona Fall League, which begins Oct. 4.
Quade lauds Ramirez's Cubs tenure
SAN FRANCISCO -- This season could be Aramis Ramirez's last with the Cubs. His contract includes a club option for $16 million for next season.
What is Ramirez's legacy?
"This year speaks for itself," Cubs manager Mike Quade said of the third baseman, who entered Monday's game against the Giants batting .309 with 24 homers and 83 RBIs.
"He's always been -- since the first time I saw him in Double-A a long time ago -- a guy you looked at who you said would be a productive RBI guy," Quade said. "His approach lends itself to being really good in RBI situations. Even as a young kid coming in the Pirates system, he looked like that kind of guy."
Ramirez had a 16-game hitting streak end Sunday. He batted .508 in that stretch and is one home run shy of joining Billy Williams as the only players in Cubs history with 30 doubles and 25 homers six times.
"It's a nice way to finish," Quade 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.