"You can't predict the character of people and all that down the stretch," Sveum said on Saturday. "You hope when they show up to the ballpark, no matter whether it's September or not, that they're going to give everything they've got.
"There are things to play for, especially on this team," he said. "There are positions to play for and vying for spots and the direction they want to take in their careers. They better show up and play, no matter what month it is."
It's a key time for the Cubs in terms of evaluating players.
"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, compared to caring if the season is ending? You come to play to beat somebody's butt every day. You don't know Oct. 1 is nearing."
Sveum won't be managing any differently. The goal is to win every game.
"You're just out there to compete as a manager and not screw things up," he said. "Let the players go out there and play the best they can and you make the decisions at the end of the games that hopefully help the team win, too."
The Cubs did add three players on Saturday in Tony Campana, Dave Sappelt and Adrian Cardenas, and expect more in the next few days.
"We'll see how they react to pinch-hitting and see how they react to Major League pitching," he said. "That's the key to a lot of things. what kind of at-bats are they giving against the better pitching in baseball? Everybody on this roster should be trying to leave somewhat of an impression for jobs next year. I think we've all been in that position as players, especially when you're not a superstar. You're always trying to impress the manager -- at least you should be in this organization -- for next year."