Quade wants Cubs to shore up defense

Quade wants Cubs to shore up defense

Quade wants Cubs to shore up defense
MESA, Ariz. -- Only the Nationals and Pirates made more errors than the Cubs did last season, and one of manager Mike Quade's goals is to have the team play better defense.

"We need to be better, period," Quade said Thursday. "We talk about [Blake] DeWitt and we talk about [Starlin Castro], and those are two kids who have a lot of work to do in the middle of the diamond.

"If [Aramis Ramirez] is healthy, we should be fine," Quade said. "I've seen [Carlos Pena] play very good first base. Our catcher, [Geovany Soto], needs improvement throwing. Whether we improve marginally or a little bit or whatever, it will be a point of emphasis [this spring].

"These guys will understand we need to be better defensively. I believe, like most clubs, pitching and defense will be huge. We've got some arms we're excited about, but we've got to make plays behind them."

The Cubs finished with a .979 fielding percentage, tied for last in the National League with the Marlins, Nationals and Pirates.

As for the outfield, Quade isn't concerned about Alfonso Soriano's defense or even thinking now about lifting him late in a game.

"I want him coming in here expecting to play nine innings every day and to get better and to continue to work and be as good as he can defensively," Quade said. "When it comes time to start playing ballgames, we'll see where we are."