ST. LOUIS – Cubs notebook from July 26
The Cubs are to open a three-game series tonight in Cincinnati -- with a drastically different roster than when they opened the season there April 2. “I think only two positions -- first base and third base -- are the same,” manager Lou Piniella said. “And there were only two spots in the batting order are the same.” The next time the Cubs play in the Queen City -- Sept. 28 to 30 to close out the regular season -- the roster likely will have changed again via September callups. But in the immediate future -- with Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline looming -- the seemingly ever-changing Cubs might not change too much after all. “I think what you see here is probably what’s going to be here,” Piniella said. “I don’t see many more changes. I don’t really see us doing much at the trading deadline. We’re not going to make a trade just to make a trade.” Still, add Tampa Bay infielder Ty Wigginton’s name to the mix of players the Cubs are rumored to be interested in. The list already included White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye and Kansas City pitchers Octavio Dotel and Zack Greinke. Big Night for Wood Kerry Wood, who’s been on the disabled list all season with shoulder tendinitis, gave up no runs on one hit with two strikeouts in the seventh inning against Daytona in a rehab appearance for Class A Peoria on Thursday. Wood threw 12 pitches, nine for strikes. A bigger test will come tonight, when Wood attempts to appear in a second consecutive game. If he survives that workload, it would be a step in the right direction toward a possible mid-August return to the Cubs bullpen. He likely would still have some rehab work at Double-A Tennessee or Triple-A Iowa ahead. “This is going to be a first real step toward seeing where you are really at,” said Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who planned to be in Peoria tonight to watch Wood. “Once you go back to back and feel good the next day, then you can readjust and maybe look at it a little differently as far as what it might take to get him back here. The day after will be just as important or more important than the actual event (tonight).” Climbing the Ladder The Cubs’ 7-1 win over St. Louis on Wednesday was Piniella’s 1,572nd as a manager, moving him past Dick Williams for 17th on the all-time list. Tommy Lasorda is No. 16 (1,599) and Fred Clarke is 15th (1,602) on the list. “I’ve been doing this a long time,” Piniella said. “Sooner or later, I’ll be passing some of these guys. Dick’s a pretty good manager. A real good manager. He should probably be in the Hall of Fame. But we’ll worry about the Cubs winning baseball games, and when my career is over, we’ll see how many I win. “But there is an honor in passing some of these guys who have done this a long, long time and done it very, very well.” Minor Matters Matt Murton, who was demoted to Triple-A Iowa on June 13, had four hits, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs in an 18-8 bashing of Colorado Springs on Wednesday night. He was hitting .425 in his past 10 games and hopes to get called back to the parent squad soon. Piniella said the Cubs could promote him if they don’t trade for a hitter by Tuesday. Others having big nights included Felix Pie (4-for-6), John Nelson (4-for-6) and Geovany Soto (single, triple, homer). Neal Cotts, who had been out with a left hamstring injury, walked two and struck out three in 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Miller Mauled
Rehabbing pitcher Wade Miller gave up seven runs on six hits for Tennessee on Thursday night. He struck out six and walked two, reaching the mid-80s (mph) on the radar.The Cubs aren’t sure what’s next for Miller, but he might make another rehab appearance or two. Miller’s had shoulder problems since 2005. More Cubs coverage is at www.dailysouthtown.com/sports.