"The attempt now is to win games while balancing out the bullpen and not to abuse your starters," Maddon said. "Those guys are the thoroughbreds. If you don't have those fellows, you ain't doing nothing."
• Jorge Soler, who fouled a ball off his knee on Saturday, told Maddon he was ready to go on Monday. Soler is 1-for-9 so far on the Cubs' road trip, but was batting .293 in 14 games in August. He did pinch-hit on Sunday in Denver.
• Tommy La Stella, who ended his holdout and reported to Double-A Tennessee last Wednesday, started at second base for Triple-A Iowa on Monday and went 1-for-4 with a double. La Stella played two games with Tennessee, and was 2-for-4 with two walks. He also was hit on the foot by a pitch, and had to miss one game. He had opted to go home rather than report to the Minor Leagues when he was optioned in late July.
La Stella will be one of the players added when rosters expand on Sept. 1. What else is Maddon looking for?
"The one thing you want to do is get guys off their feet," he said, anticipating the addition of players who can give the regulars a breather.
Maddon is not thinking about who he wants on the playoff roster. Not yet.
"There's so much baseball to be played, so many things that can occur," Maddon said. "I don't even think about the playoffs, I don't think about playoff rosters. I think about Monday night in San Diego. To get any further than that mentally is a trap."
• Kris Bryant's parents and brother were at Petco Park, and a large contingent from the University of San Diego, where he went to school, was expected on Tuesday.
"He's a very humble person," Maddon said of Bryant. "If he has an ego, I never see it. It's in his back pocket all the time."
• The Cubs, who most likely lead the Major Leagues in T-shirts, arrived in San Diego with new red tees in their lockers that said "Bunt to Win" and had the image of a player bunting who looked very much like Jon Lester. Lester drove in the winning run with a bunt in the 12th inning on July 31 against the Mariners.
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.