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Quade big believer in finishing strong
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/21/2010 11:06 PM | Updated: 9/21/2010 11:06 PM

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Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano took the mound for Tuesday night's rain-delayed game against the San Francisco Giants on a roll.

He had won his previous 5 starts and was 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 8 starts since returning to the rotation Aug. 9. Zambrano has said he won't allow a trade, so manager Mike Quade was asked if a strong finish could be a boost for Zambrano and the Cubs heading into next year.

It was another strong outing Tuesday as Zambrano worked 6 shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants.

"Anybody that is putting it together late or is finishing up strong can be huge for us next year," Quade said. "We talked about the kids and evaluating performances and stuff. Evaluations are going on all over the place, OK? It would send you off this winter to have guys finishing up strong.

"I'm a big believer in what I've seen the last six weeks. He's been great this entire stretch. I'm more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he's still passionate about pitching and pitches with passion, but maybe he's channeling it a little differently."

Zambrano missed more than a month, from late June through late July while undergoing anger-management treatment.

He was the team's opening-day starter as the nominal staff ace.

"He's doing the things that should allow him to be the ace that he was," Quade said. "His velocity is probably not the 93 or 94 that we saw a couple years ago but that doesn't mean you can't continue to get people out. It's just an adjustment that needs to happen. Maybe he's a calmer guy.

"What I see physically is a guy that's prepared, under control and going after hitters. With his stuff, I think that should be more than enough to be a vital part of any pitching staff."

Colvin update: Mike Quade said he has spoken with outfielder Tyler Colvin, who remains hospitalized in stable condition in Florida after suffering a chest wound Sunday when he was hit by a flying piece of a bat.

Colvin is expected to remain in the hospital at least one more day, the Cubs said.

"It sounds like he's progressing," Quade said. "He seemed in better spirits. Hopefully, he'll improve, and we'll see him sometime soon.

"I think he was shaken up. It sounds like the prognosis is very good. It's obviously such an unusual injury. Just that in itself shook him up a great deal. But he seems fine. He's in good hands, from what I understand."

Roster moves: The Cubs made a series of roster moves Tuesday. They placed catcher Geovany Soto (shoulder surgery) and outfielder Tyler Colvin (chest injury) on the 15-day disabled list.

They also activated reliever Esmailin Caridad (forearm) from the 60-day DL and optioned him to Class AA Tennessee. To make room for Caridad on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated pitcher Mitch Atkins for assignment. Atkins spent most of the year at Class AAA Iowa and saw brief time with the Cubs.