About the only news to come out of Lou's pregame today was that Aramis Ramirez was taking some "soft-toss" swings today. Ramirez said he was using a fungo bat and would know more once he starts using his own bat and takes aggressive swings with it.
First, the lineups:
As far as Aramis goes, Lou said that "probably between now and this next little road trip, he'll start taking some batting practice. That's good news for us."
Both Lou and Aramis agreed on one thing: Ramirez will need a minor-league rehab stint before coming back. An optimistic scenario of three weeks would have Ramirez back by July 8, the end of the Atlanta series at Wrigley.
"I feel pretty good," Aramis said. "Every day, I take a step forward. My shoulder feels good. Hopefully, I won't get any setbacks."
Although he says there's "no reason to rush it," Aramis says he wants to be back before the all-star break.
--D-Lee has an OPS of 1.018 since May 16. He has a .371 BA (33-for-89) since then. His 13-game hitting streak is the longest since Ryan Theriot hit in 13 straight last July 3-20.
--Cubs pitchers lead the majors with 38 quality starts.
--The rotation shapes up as Z tomorrow, Harden Friday against the Indians, followed by Lilly and Wells.
--The bullpen has worked the second-fewest innings in the majors, with 172.1. The Royals pen has thrown 167 innings.