Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade had a team meeting on Thursday as he prepared his team for the last 70 games of the season.
"I talked to the guys right before the workout," Quade said. "This is the healthiest we've been since [Randy Wells went down on April 4 and Andrew Cashner went down on April 5]. So now we try to stay healthy and be a better team."
The Cubs had the second-worst record in baseball in the first half, finishing at 37-55. Quade was trying to find the same formula he used to finish 24-13 last season after taking over for the retired Lou Piniella.
"Today the conversation was upbeat," Quade said. "I was drawing from some stuff that happened last year. In talking about some of the things we have to improve on and building on the fact that if we are healthy we expect to play better baseball, and we did it last year."
Quade may have some younger players to manage in the second half. Minor league outfielder Brett Jackson and infielder/outfielder Ryan Flaherty were promoted from Double-A to Triple-A last week and appear on the fast track to Wrigley field.
"When it's time it's time," Quade said. "Coaches, managers, [assistant general manager Randy Bush and GM Jim Hendry] will determine when. My concern is the 25 guys who are here now. "
The Cubs have 34 games remaining at home after Thursday's game and 35 on the road.