Federowicz: Options for Cubs with 3 catchers

Federowicz: Options for Cubs with 3 catchers

CHICAGO -- Tim Federowicz is now one of three catchers on the Cubs with the Saturday return of Miguel Montero, who had been on the disabled list.

"It makes sense the way Joe [Maddon] likes to make moves," said Federowicz, who was promoted from Triple-A Iowa when Montero was injured April 25. "We have so many other versatile infielders and outfielders. Miggy, on the days he's not playing, we have another left-handed bat off the bench. I think Joe loves it, and it'll be good."

Federowicz, 28, also had a first baseman's glove, which he had broken in at Iowa. He played three games at first, one game at third, and six at catcher. If first baseman Anthony Rizzo needs a breather, the Cubs now have a backup.

• The Cubs did not take batting practice on Sunday, and will continue to not do so as long as they have hitting options such as a batting cage.

"By the time the game begins, they're frisky," Maddon said of the players, whom he feels get worn out with too much pregame BP. "It's the most ridiculously overrated part of what we do every day."

When did Maddon's aversion to BP begin? He was a hitting coach with the Angels in the Minor Leagues and working with Jack Howell, who had been sent down to the Triple-A team in Tucson. During a pregame hitting session, Howell did well in the first five minutes, and Maddon wanted to end the session. But Howell kept going and, as Maddon said, "hit right through 'feel.'"

By hitting so much, Maddon said the players were fatigued. He changed his approach and focused more on condensing the work day and working smarter.

• After Satuday's game, the Pirates' Jeff Locke said Jake Arrieta was too good of a pitcher, command-wise, to hit Jung Ho Kang with a pitch, which he did in the fourth inning.

"I think Jake walked Locke on four pitches," Maddon said Sunday. "I really don't think Jake was pitching around Locke. My point is it can happen at any time, when an exceptional pitcher can lose command of his pitches."

Bottom line is that even Arrieta doesn't always know where the ball is going.

"He definitely has this cyborg look about him," Maddon said of Arrieta. "When you watch him out there, I can definitely see Arnold Schwarzenegger going through his pitching delivery motion and throwing the pitches exactly where he wants all the time, but I think even Arnold messed up a couple times. [Arrieta is] not perfect by any means."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.