Passed Kerry Wood in the clubhouse today. "Nothing new," he told me.
Wood was supposed to throw a simulated game today, at least according to Lou, who told us that Monday and Tuesday. Turns out there was no real plan, perhaps some wishful thinking on Lou's part.
"Initially, we had talked about a simulated game, bringing a few hitters here, and let him get a little work in with a pad on his finger," Lou said this evening. "It didn't happen because he's really not close to coming back."
Lou didn't define what "close" meant but he amended it to say it wasn't "imminent close."
Lou also wouldn't comment on talk of whether Wood will soon need to start pitching through some discomfort with that pesky blister on his right index finger.
As far as the rest of the bullpen goes, Lou said he pitched Jeff Samardzija in the ninth inning last night during a blowout to get him some late-inning experience, especially on the road. Scott Eyre has been MIA or MII (Missing in Inaction) since coming off the DL July 23. Eyre hasn't pitched since June 26, and although Lou says he wants to use him, it sure looks like he wants no part of him. Perhaps the Cubs will do everybody a favor and trade Eyre by tomorrow's 3 p.m. non-waiver deadline.
Speaking of that, those rumors about Seattle's Raul Ibanez aren't far-fetched, but my Cubs people tell me they don't know if they can make a deal. When Bill Bavasi was the GM of the Mariners, Ibanez was an untouchable. That appears to have changed, but Cubs GM Jim Hendry has had little interaction with the new regime, and the Cubs aren't sure how easy or hard it will be to get something done. Hendry told me he was on the phone with four or five clubs today, but that's about as far as he would go.
Hendry has made several deadline deals, but I wouldn't be shocked if nothing got done this year.