09/01/12 1:25 PM ET
Sappelt, Campana, Cardenas added to roster
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
"It's been a long year, and I had a lot of things to work on this year, and it took a while to work them out," Sappelt said on Saturday. "That's why it took me so long."
Sappelt was one of three players added to the Cubs roster now that rosters can expand. He arrived on Saturday with outfielder Tony Campana and infielder Adrian Cardenas.
Sappelt, 25, finished at Iowa with a .266 batting average, but his monthly totals show how much he struggled. He batted .218 in April, .237 in May, .260 in June, .317 in July and .287 in August.
"I was not putting consistent swings on the ball and I went through about 15 batting stances," said Sappelt, acquired from the Reds along with Travis Wood in the Sean Marshall deal. "I was in a mental hole all year. I think I'm out of it now."
Which stance did he settle on?
"It's something brand new," Sappelt said. "I took a little out of Brett Jackson's page and Josh Hamilton's hand drop before the pitch to slow down. That's been working for me. I think I'm going to ride that out from here on out."
He was getting frustrated.
"It got bad enough to where I said, 'I'm going to play winter ball until Spring Training and I'm going to figure it out one way or another,'" Sappelt said. "As soon as the All-Star break finished, I told myself to relax and that my time will come."
This is Campana's second stint with the Cubs. He was with the big league team from mid-April to Aug. 3, and batted .259. He hit .264 in August at Iowa, getting more at-bats than he did in June and July combined with the Cubs.
"I went down there and I needed to get at-bats and I got to play every day and I got to get at-bats," Campana said. "It was nice to play every day."
His goal now?
"I'll come off the bench, do my thing, and run around a little bit," said Campana, who stole 26 bases for the Cubs.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the new players will have to adjust to fewer at-bats.
"The core of the lineup will be pretty much the same," Sveum said. "It's not as if I'm going to play these guys a lot. It'll be periodically, matchups, whatever. When we're playing these teams in first place [like the Giants], we're going to put our core guys out there."
Sappelt, Campana and Cardenas know that.
"My goal being up here, is whenever I play, I have to show I can come off the bench and hit, and hit lefties," Sappelt said. "I have to be consistent at that while I'm here. That could be my contribution for next year, filling in for Reed Johnson. We have a couple guys going for that role. My goal is to prove I belong."
Sveum doesn't expect letdown as season unwinds
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum does not expect a letdown in the final month of the regular season.
"You can't predict the character of people and all that down the stretch," Sveum said on Saturday. "You hope when they show up to the ballpark, no matter whether it's September or not, that they're going to give everything they've got.
"There are things to play for, especially on this team," he said. "There are positions to play for and vying for spots and the direction they want to take in their careers. They better show up and play, no matter what month it is."
It's a key time for the Cubs in terms of evaluating players.
"The way our record is, and the end of the season coming up, you can find out a lot about people," Sveum said. "Are they that guy who grinds it out on a daily basis, compared to caring if the season is ending? You come to play to beat somebody's butt every day. You don't know Oct. 1 is nearing."
Sveum won't be managing any differently. The goal is to win every game.
"You're just out there to compete as a manager and not screw things up," he said. "Let the players go out there and play the best they can and you make the decisions at the end of the games that hopefully help the team win, too."
The Cubs did add three players on Saturday in Tony Campana, Dave Sappelt and Adrian Cardenas, and expect more in the next few days.
"We'll see how they react to pinch-hitting and see how they react to Major League pitching," he said. "That's the key to a lot of things. what kind of at-bats are they giving against the better pitching in baseball? Everybody on this roster should be trying to leave somewhat of an impression for jobs next year. I think we've all been in that position as players, especially when you're not a superstar. You're always trying to impress the manager -- at least you should be in this organization -- for next year."
Camp continues to be reliable force out of 'pen
CHICAGO -- Cubs reliever Shawn Camp leads the Major Leagues with 68 appearances this season, and is on pace for 84, which would top his career high of 75 set in 2006. On Friday, he delivered in a tough spot.
Camp started the eighth, and the first two batters singled. But Camp got Pablo Sandoval looking at strike three. The Giants did score twice, but the damage could've been worse.
"[Camp] made a great pitch on Pablo that could have changed that inning," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
"It wasn't the greatest matchup in the world," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Camp-Sandoval. "For him to take strike three, he can put the barrel of the bat on the ball on any kind of pitch. That was definitely the turning point of the situation."
Camp was one of the Cubs' MVPs in the first half. He's been one of the most durable pitchers this season.
"He's done a great job all year long," Sveum said of the right-hander. "Yesterday, he's our setup guy, but it's probably not the best matchup going into it with their switch-hitters and guys who can handle the sweeping sliders that he throws."
• Chris Rusin, who will join the Cubs in time to start Tuesday against the Nationals, tuned up with three innings on Friday for Double-A Tennessee against Pensacola. Rusin, who spent the season at Triple-A Iowa, will make his second big league start on Tuesday. On Friday, he did not give up a hit or run, and struck out one in his outing.
• Tennessee first baseman Justin Bour was named to the Southern League postseason all-star team on Friday. Bour, 24, has been stellar in his first season at Double-A, and led the Smokies in batting average (.290), hits (141), doubles (36), home runs (17) and RBIs (110).
• The Cubs' Mesa team lost, 15-3, to the Athletics in the semifinals of the Rookie League playoffs on Friday, and ended its season with a 37-19 record.
• Iowa finished its season early when its three-game series in New Orleans was canceled due to Hurricane Isaac.
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.