CHICAGO – The first wave of reinforcements for the Chicago Cubs were in the house Saturday, but the team’s tough schedule down the stretch figures to limit their playing time.
Tony Campana, Adrian Cardenas and Dave Sappelt were all added as rosters were expanded across baseball for the final month. Recently claimed pitcher Miguel Socolovich will be added Sunday and pitcher Chris Russin and catcher Anthony Recker will join the Cubs on Tuesday.
Manager Dale Sveum’s reluctance to use them, though, isn’t necessarily because he doesn’t want them to be exposed against teams like the San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals, all of whom loom during the final month.
Because Sveum wants to field a competitive team against contenders he expects to use his regulars more often in September.
“The core of the lineup will be pretty much the same all the time,” Sveum said. “It’s not something where I’m going to play these guys a lot. It will just be periodic, matchups, but like I said before, when we’re playing these teams in first place, we’re going to put our core guys out there every day.”
Six games remaining with Houston and three with Colorado will give Sveum more of a chance to see what the newcomers are made of, but the regulars are still being evaluated as well. Just because the Cubs are teetering on a 100-loss season, doesn’t mean the manager can’t see what some of his guys are made of.
“With 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 and an at-bat basis and all that, compared to caring that the season’s ending? You come to play and beat somebody’s butt every day. You don’t know that Oct. 1 is nearing.”