Cubs Andrew Cashner to be Called Up?

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A recent report suggested the Cubs might consider calling up Double-A pitching prospect Andrew Cashner to help with the bullpen.

"It surprised me," manager Lou Piniella said.

"I think I learn more from reading newspapers than talking to my front office. I don't know where that came from."

Cashner has made two starts for Tennessee, sporting a 4.35 ERA in two starts while notching 20 strikeouts in just 10 1/3 innings.

"He's had two really nice starts, but outside of that, his name has not been discussed," said Piniella.

The 6-foot-6 right-hander, who was a closer at TCU, was the Cubs' first-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Fontenot's new stance paying dividends

CHICAGO -- Cubs second baseman Mike Fontenot worked on altering his stance in Spring Training with new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. And if Fontenot's batting average is any indication, the tinkering has worked, as he sports a .348 mark and .400 on-base percentage through the season's first 10 games.

"I got a little bit taller, and my stance is a lot closer," Fontenot said. "I've gotten to where I've closed my stance a little bit and kind of stepped into it. [Jaramillo] worked on my rhythm and my timing. It's felt comfortable. I've done it since the beginning of Spring Training until now."

"Last year he was all spread out at home plate," manager Lou Piniella said. "Basically, he didn't stride all that much. He picked up his front foot and placed it down. Now he's got him more shoulder-length apart with his feet, and he's taken a little stride, which gets his hands back into the hitting area. And it's helped him."

And what about the power?

"It's supposed to help with the power a little bit," Fontenot said. "But my whole goal is to make sure I get on base -- get base hits. I'm comfortable if I don't hit that many homers, that's fine. As long as I'm getting base hits, things like that, I'm happy. It's really helped with my bat angle, rhythm. Confidence has a lot to do with it as well."

Silva doing plenty to keep rotation spot

CHICAGO -- When Carlos Silva takes the mound for the Cubs, he wants to do well for his teammates. Not try to live up to the big contract he signed for Seattle in 2007 or get back at a team that traded him.

"I don't want to prove that to anybody," Silva said. "It's like when I was with Seattle -- it's too bad it didn't work out, but at the same time, they put a lot of trust in me when they signed me there. It makes me look bad when it doesn't work out.

"I know I can pitch, and I worked very hard in the offseason to get better. I don't want to pitch good just to show them that I can pitch. I just want to pitch good to help my team."

There's no getting around Silva's struggles for the Mariners since he signed the four-year, $48 million deal in December 2007. But he's been everything the Cubs could have hoped for when they acquired him from the M's for Milton Bradley over the offseason.

Silva is 1-0 in two starts, allowing just one earned run over 13 innings. But even with that success, there's a chance he may get one more start before a decision is made on who will move to the bullpen upon Ted Lilly's return from injury.

Either way, Silva is making the decision hard for his skipper.

"We'll look at it and do what we feel is best for the ball club," manager Lou Piniella said. "We have to look at that from a couple different perspectives, and we'll talk about that later down the road. Let's hope the decision is really, really tough. That means that everybody is pitching really well."

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd ... p;c_id=chc


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