MIAMI -- There was a time when medics said Scott Maine would never pitch again. The Cubs rookie thought of that when he warmed up in the seventh inning on Friday night, a nod away from putting a big exclamation mark on his full recovery.
The nod never came, because Ryan Dempster recovered to end the Marlins' threat. But Maine still has hopes of being used sometime in the series' final two games Saturday and Sunday.
The former University of Miami player has dreamed of pitching in a Major League game before close family and friends. About 15 of them were in the Sun Life Stadium stands Friday night, and most will be back.
Maine's career -- and life -- appeared in jeopardy following an Aug. 5, 2009 auto wreck that left him with head injuries and a wrecked left elbow. He was in a coma for days and in the hospital for a month.
Doctors said he shouldn't expect to pitch again, but he didn't believe them. He had Tommy John surgery and was back on the mound the following year.
The Cubs called him up from Iowa on Aug. 24, and he has appeared in seven Major League games thus far. He has a 3.86 earned run average.
Realizing he hasn't yet proven himself over the long haul, Maine doesn't plan to celebrate his Major League status any time soon.
"I've been here a month," he said. "I want to stay here for years to come. Once my career is over, then I'm going to pinch myself and say, 'Did that really happen?'"
Cubs' lineup full of new faces vs. Fish
MIAMI -- When the Cubs' players showed up in their clubhouse before Friday night's opener against the Marlins, they saw the lineups posted for the whole three-game series -- withstanding injuries, of course.
That was quite an eyeful for the team's infusion of young players since teams were allowed to add to their rosters on Sept. 1. In particular, Sunday's lineup caught their attention, because it was chock full of recently-arrived players.
"I know it got me excited," said outfielder Brad Snyder, who will be making his first Major League start.
On Saturday, Cubs manager Mike Quade smilingly called it "Kids Day."
Darwin Barney, 24, will be among the infielders starting on Sunday. The outfield will include Snyder and Sam Fuld, both 28, but with limited Major League experience, and the catcher will be Wellington Castillo, 23.
Other starters will be Micah Hoffpauir, 30, and Bobby Scales, 32, but neither has extensive Major League experience.
"It's going to be a fun day," Quade said.
Fuld and Snyder played in the outfield next to each other at Triple-A Iowa this season.
"It's going to look familiar when I see him over there," Snyder said. "I'm really looking forward to this, but I'm trying to stay as relaxed as I can."
Quade is interested in seeing how the players conduct themselves, but he has another reason for the wholesale youth movement.
"That will give our regular guys two days to get ready for the Giants," he said, mindful that the Cubs have an off-day Monday before facing the Giants.
Quade has Cubs headed in right direction
MIAMI -- As wide speculation continues on the Cubs' choice of manager for next season -- from Joe Girardi to Ryne Sandberg -- Mike Quade is quietly building a case for himself.
The interim manager has the Cubs on a 16-7 roll since taking over for the retiring Lou Piniella, including a five-game winning streak following the Cubs' 5-3 win over the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium Saturday night.
As Ryan Dempster said after helping the Cubs to a 2-0 victory Friday night, the club is playing arguably its best baseball of the season now, with teammates regularly picking each other up after mistakes occur.
Quade isn't bashful about declaring that he would love to keep the job for a lot longer than a 37-game sampler.
"I was given a great opportunity, and believed I was going to try to make the most of it from day one," he said. "I've wanted to manage at this level for a long time. So at least I've gotten this opportunity, and we'll see what happens from here."
Before beating Florida on Saturday, Quade was asked to explain the team's 15-7 record. He acknowledged the club has been spurred by stellar pitching and, Quade said, "Lots of contributions up and down. The mix has been good. The veterans have done a nice job and the kids, I think, have gotten better."
Quade's theme with his players has been what he said may sound like an oxymoron, but really isn't. He wants intensity from his athletes, but he wants them to relax as well.
"Be attentive, learn every day and make all the adjustments," Quade said, "But I've tried to create as relaxing an atmosphere as we can."
He also believes in "leaning on your veterans" as the season gets into the final month, which he said he has always done.
"They've been a good group to lean on," he said.
With 14 games left in the season, Quade plans to use his regulars much of the time. An exception will be Sunday, when the Cubs will field a largely inexperienced lineup.
Still, he has expectations of being able to show a body of work by season's end on Oct. 3, that will provide evidence that he fits well as the Cubs manager into the future.
Charlie Nobles is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.