We'll get a quick blog started here to freshen things up. I've got a lot of digital "tape" to sift through, but you know the particulars. Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are both headed to the DL. Wells has a right-forearm strain, and Cashner has a rotator-cuff strain. Neither will pick up a ball for 10 days to two weeks.
The Cubs say Wells' injury is not elbow related. Casey Coleman will come up from Iowa and pitch Sunday in Milwaukee. It looks like lefty James Russell may get the call next Tuesday at Houston.
Manager Mike Quade seemed to take things philosophically. Already, Quade is without his starting first baseman as Carlos Pena misses his second straight day with a right-thumb strain. Quade said Pena should be able to go Friday at Milwaukee. Pena was going to hit today, either off the tee or in BP.
“It’s all right,” Quade said. “I feel bad for the two guys involved. I feel bad for Pena, as well, but he’ll obviously be back very soon. It’s part of the deal. We were counting on those guys, absolutely. Now I’m counting on them to rehab like a son of a gun and get back as quick as they can, get back quickly and healthy. They’ll be OK. It doesn’t sound serious to me.”
Wells said he felt something in the forearm after his final tuneup start of spring training. He said he had a lot of discomfort yesterday, so both he and Cashner had MRIs. It's tough to tell at this point when either will be back. It all depends on how they respond to rest and treatment.
Coleman pitched well for the Cubs down the stretch last year, finishing 4-2 with a 4.11 ERA. In 57 big-league innings, he gave up 56 hits while walking 25 and striking out 27. Russell made only 1 Cactus League start, and if he starts next week at Houston, he may be able to go 5 tops.
Thursday's off-day buys the Cubs a little time. The pitchers for the weekend at Milwaukee will be Zambrano, Garza and Coleman. Dempster can come back on regular rest and pitch Monday at Houston, presumably followed by Russell and Z.
From today's game notes, the Cubs have won their last eight games against the D'Backs dating to April 30 of last year. Starlin Castro has 10 hits in his first 5 games played. Four of his games have been multihit games. His early hitting line is .476/.522/.762. Castro is the youngest player in the majors. Here's a look at the youngest five and their games played:
1. Castro: 130
2. Mike Stanton (Marlins): 102
3. Freddie Freeman (Braves): 25
4. Tim Collins (Royals): 2
5. Jason Heyward (Braves): 147