CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs added another name to the lengthening list of injured players Tuesday with the news that Sammy Sosa has a sprained ligament in his lower back.
Sosa was expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, retroactive to Sunday. He missed nine games in 2002 because of a strained back after a collision with Mark Bellhorn but did not go on the DL at that time.
Sammy Sosa / RF
Weight: 220 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Sosa will join Mark Prior (Achilles), Mark Grudzielanek (Achilles), Alex Gonzalez (wrist) and Mike Remlinger (shoulder) on the disabled list. Pitcher Kerry Wood missed a start Sunday because of soreness in his right triceps. Yet the Cubs entered Tuesday's game against San Francisco tied for first place with the Houston Astros.
"There's no sense hanging your head," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said of the rash of injuries. "You've got to deal with it."
They're not going to get any sympathy.
"I wish they all didn't show up so they would forfeit the game and we would win," San Francisco's Barry Bonds said.
Todd Hollandsworth started in right field for Sosa on Sunday and Tuesday, and Hendry said he would consider adding players from Triple-A Iowa to the roster. Among the candidates are Jason Dubois, who was batting .299 in 39 games with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs for Iowa, and David Kelton, who was hitting .269 with six home runs and 18 RBIs.
"[Hollandsworth] is not Sammy Sosa, but he can certainly do the job," Hendry said.
The Cubs reserves -- nicknamed "the Lemons" -- have come through. Jose Macias subbed for backup Todd Walker (shoulder), and went 11-for-20 in his starts.
"We expect whoever we put out there to do the job," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "You can cry and feel sorry for yourself or you can figure out a way."
"I'm happy we're playing as well as we are," Hendry said. "We're all looking forward to the day when everybody's healthy and playing at the same time. It's one of Dusty Baker's strengths -- when things look like they're going to go bad, or some of the injuries might be tough to overcome, he finds a way.
"I like our depth," Hendry said. "That was something we wanted to do. We're pretty balanced left- and right-handed off the bench. Some guys are starting to pitch well in the 'pen. [Carlos] Zambrano's been terrific. [Sergio] Mitre and [Glendon] Rusch are filling in admirably. We want to get to the spot where hopefully we're healthy."
Baker has had enough aches and pains for the season.
"Sometimes when I see the trainer coming, I go to the bathroom," Baker said. "I don't want any more bad news."
Mark Prior / P
Weight: 230 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Prior update: Prior threw on the side Tuesday for the second day in a row in a tuneup for his first minor league rehab start Thursday at Class A Lansing. Hendry said Prior's session on Monday was "absolutely outstanding."
"It's been a long stretch for him," Hendry said.
Prior is on a five-day schedule like the other starters and will likely pitch in another game at Lansing after Thursday. He will return to Chicago between the rehab starts to work with pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Prior remains on schedule to start one of the Cubs' games June 4-6 against Pittsburgh.
"We're going to get him on a routine to get ready for that first week in June," Hendry said.
Why Lansing? Hendry said the Class A Lugnuts won because of proximity to Chicago. Plus, Iowa heads to Portland for a road trip and it would be tough travel.
Mike Remlinger / P
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
Aches and pains: Reliever Mike Remlinger threw one hitless inning of relief Tuesday night for Triple-A Iowa in a 4-3 loss to Sacramento. It was Remlinger's second rehab outing. The next step for Remlinger will be to throw in back-to-back games this weekend and then hopefully be able to join the big league team next week. He underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery last October.
Second baseman Mark Grudzielanek was in Arizona at the team's extended Spring Training camp to resume baseball activities. Grudzielanek is bothered by a partial tear in his right Achilles.
The good news is second baseman Todd Walker, who is subbing for Grudzielanek, returned to the lineup. He had missed four games with a sore right shoulder.
Head to head: Sosa and Barry Bonds won't be swinging for the fences in this three-game series because of the back injury to the Cubs right fielder. However, here are some facts about the pair of 500-homer hitters.
Only twice in Major League history have two members of the 500-homer club connected in the same game, and both took place in San Francisco. According to research by Ed Hartig, Chicago's Ernie Banks (career homer No. 504) and San Francisco's Willie Mays (No. 615) both homered in the Cubs' 6-1 victory at Candlestick Park.
On May 8, 1971, Mays (No. 634) and Henry Aaron (No. 604) both went deep in Atlanta's 5-2 victory at Candlestick.
Bonds and Sosa have homered in the same game nine times, most recently Aug. 11, 2001. But Sosa had not reached 500 at that time.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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