09/29/11 12:30 AM ET
Colvin will spend winter working to improve
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
The outfielder, who showed promise in 2010 when he hit 20 homers, was batting .151 with six homers this season heading into Wednesday's final game. Colvin will spend the offseason in the Phoenix area, working out at the Cubs' facility.
"He's going to concentrate on getting stronger," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He's got decent strength, and he's going to get stronger. He's got bat speed, and can hit the ball out of the ballpark. Those are givens. But you've got to be able to put the barrel on the ball consistently. That's discipline, improvement, that's continuing to work on your swing plane -- that's all sorts of things that I don't think were prominent when he first got started."
The question now is whether Colvin can make the adjustments to succeed in the big leagues.
"The ball's in his court," Quade said.
Quade proud of job he did with Cubs
SAN DIEGO -- Mike Quade will say goodbye to his players and staff after Wednesday's game, confident in the job he did in his first full year as the Cubs' manager but uncertain as to what the future holds.
"It hasn't been what we hoped for, but I'm not disappointed in the way I handled things and the way I went about my business," Quade said on Wednesday. "Good seasons, bad seasons, you go home and evaluate -- and you're always trying to get better. I still feel pretty good about this job and doing what I do. If somebody else has a different thought when they come in here, they'll make that decision."
Quade's future will be determined by the new, yet to be named, general manager. The process is ongoing, and there's no timetable, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said on Wednesday.
Quade isn't as concerned about his future as he is about his coaching staff. Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo has a contract for next season; the rest have contracts that expire at the end of October.
"There's really nothing else you can do," Quade said. "That's the only thing I worry about, is guys waiting and not getting a job if things don't work out. I'll do everything I can to keep them abreast the best I can."
But Quade isn't worried heading into the offseason. He'll go home to Florida to go fishing and finish remodeling his kitchen.
"No anxiety," he said. "It's always great when things are cleared up, one way or the other. You look forward to that day. I'm as anxious -- I want to see who they're going to hire and how that's going to play out. I don't do all the speculation or listen to the names. I'm more interested in concrete information. No anxiety."
Ricketts did meet with Quade after Jim Hendry was dismissed as general manager in August to tell him it may be a long process before a replacement is named.
"I think this is a big organizational decision and, right now, it's bigger than any of us -- whether we like it or not," Quade said. "You have to be patient or you say, 'I can't do this, I've got to get work.' I think you have to keep things in perspective."
Quade isn't following the rumors as to who could take over the Cubs.
"[I asked Mr. Ricketts], 'Just tell me the truth,' and he did," Quade said. "That's all I want. I was able to tell my staff, 'Look, this is not what we wanted or expected, but it is what it is.'"
The Cubs have lost 90 games and will either finish fourth or fifth in the National League Central, depending on how the Pirates fare on Wednesday. There will be changes coming in the Cubs' clubhouse.
"Somebody's going to come in here and take a look, and try to structure this thing the way they want to do it," Quade said. "It's natural to have turnover. To the extent we'll have it, I don't know."
The Cubs will finish last in the National League in defense, and Quade said he hopes another year of experience for young players like Starlin Castro, Geovany Soto and Darwin Barney will help correct that.
"The most frustrating thing this year is, that's been a point of emphasis," Quade said.
He did learn quickly that managing in the big leagues is different than managing in Macon, Ga. or Huntsville, Ala. This Spring Training, his musical tastes were reported on Twitter.
"You deal with it and keep a level head, and you'll be fine," Quade said.
Marmol looks ahead to 2012
SAN DIEGO -- If he could, Carlos Marmol would take a mulligan on this season.
"This is the last game of the season, and I can't look back," the Cubs closer said on Wednesday. "I have to look ahead to next year."
Marmol will finish with 34 saves, but he also leads the National League in blown saves with 10. The right-hander knows he has to get back on track.
"I don't want to lose my job," he said. "This is something I want to do, this is my career."
Another year with pitching coach Mark Riggins may help. Marmol said he missed Larry Rothschild, who left the Cubs to take a similar position with the Yankees.
"To be honest with you, yes, [I missed Rothschild]," Marmol said. "He's known me for a long time, and he knows everything I do on the mound. Riggins will learn my mechanics."
But the biggest thing Marmol has to do is correct himself when he's out of whack. He'll spend more time throwing this offseason and working out.
"I have to do it," he said. "I think I can do it next season. I'll be ready for next season."
Castro becomes youngest NL hits leader
SAN DIEGO -- Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro ended the season as the youngest player ever to lead the National League in hits, finishing with 207.
Castro was hitless until the eighth inning on Wednesday, when he led off with a double to left, extending his streak of reaching safely to 40 straight games.
"When I went up there, I said, 'Finish strong,'" Castro said of his last at-bat. "It's my last at-bat for the whole year, and I wanted to finish strong."
Being the youngest to lead the league in hits, Castro's feat will be commemorated at the Hall of Fame. Castro's game jersey is headed for Cooperstown.
"That's awesome," Castro said.
Prior to this season, the youngest hits champion was the Cubs' Charlie Hollocher in 1918, who was 22 years and 83 days old. Castro, who finished 2011 with a .307 average, is 21 years and 188 days old.
He also finished with an 11-game hitting streak, his fifth double-digit streak of the season. He's the first Cubs player with five hitting streaks of 10 or more games in a single season since Hall of Famer Billy Williams turned the trick in 1970.
Castro ended tied for 10th on the Cubs' all-time single season hit list with Heinie Zimmerman, who had 207 hits in 1912.
"I'm very proud of him -- first full season, 200 hits, .300," teammate Alfonso Soriano said of Castro. "I'm very proud and happy for him."
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.