MESA, Ariz. -- Koyie Hill was 1-for-32 this spring, while Welington Castillo was 12-for-19. Wouldn't the Cubs rather keep Castillo as the backup catcher? No, manager Mike Quade said.
"If he'll keep his nose to the grindstone and do what he's done the last year, he's going to get better and better, and he'll have some kind of future," Quade said of Castillo, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. "The sky's the limit for this guy."
The Cubs want Castillo to play every day, and he's not going to bump Geovany Soto from the job as regular catcher.
"To me, he's not ready to take that role on as every day, ready to be a something-special catcher," Quade said. "He needs at-bats, and he needs to go play. Sitting next to me and playing a day or two a week is not going to get it.
"Also, if something happens, God forbid, [to Soto] you want [Castillo] playing and understanding and not just swinging the bat but working the pitchers. [Castillo's] got a long ways to go development-wise. He could watch and observe, but there's nothing like playing to get better."
Hill has a lifetime .215 average in the big leagues.
"He understands his role, and he's able to perform that role," Quade said of Hill. "Coming off the bench once a week ain't that easy, and he's done it very well. His relationship with our pitching staff and the way he's conducted himself goes a long way with me. He and [Soto] play well off each other."
Quade can understand the fans' asking about the roster.
"Heck, my mom will ask me those questions," he said.
She's offered him some suggestions, too, but Quade hasn't applied any.
He hasn't applied any of their advice. Not yet.
"She wants explanations, and if she doesn't get them from [the media], guess what, I'm next," Quade said. "The sad part is I think she listens to [the media] before she listens to me."