CHICAGO -- Kosuke Fukudome seems to be the odd man out.
The Cubs outfielder hit .189 in June and entered Friday 4-for-26 (.154) through 11 games in July. His last at-bats came Sunday against the Dodgers, when he went 0-for-4. He did not start Thursday against Phillies lefty Jamie Moyer and was not in the lineup Friday against right-hander Joe Blanton.
"Whoever's swinging the bats and we're winning baseball games, we're not going to make many changes," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Friday about his lineup. "We've used a lot of people all summer, and now people who are doing the job are the ones who are going to get the at-bats, and that's basically it."
Rookie Tyler Colvin has gotten more at-bats in right, although he's scuffled a little in July. Colvin entered Friday's game batting .231 this month. Still, he and rookie Starlin Castro have combined for 41 extra-base hits, second most among National League rookie duos. Florida's Gaby Sanchez and Mike Stanton have combined for 43 extra-base hits.
Piniella hopes to keep lefty Lilly around
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly will be a free agent after this season and has been the subject of trade rumors. Manager Lou Piniella said he didn't think all the talk should bother the left-hander.
"Teddy's a professional," Piniella said Friday. "He wants to stay here and we'd like for him to stay here. Obviously, it gives us a much better chance to win games.
"At the same time, you never know what's going to happen, and for a veteran pitcher like Teddy or a veteran player, just go do your job and whatever happens, happens," Piniella said. "You can't concern yourself with it."
Lilly, who started Friday against the Phillies in the Cubs' second game since the All-Star break, had received 2.41 runs of support per start, the lowest in the Major Leagues. But he was coming off two losses in which he's given up 16 runs on 18 hits over 10 1/3 innings.
Does Piniella give general manager Jim Hendry his opinion in trade talks?
"I don't get too involved in them," Piniella said. "I haven't talked to Jim about any trade talks at all. That's his department, and if he wants my opinion, he'll ask me."
That's not always the way Piniella has handled things.
"I like it quiet anyway so if stuff leaks out, it doesn't come from me," he said. "There are always leaks, but if I don't know anything about it, it can't come from me."
Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild made two changes in Thursday's game, not Lou Piniella. Any reason Piniella didn't go to the mound? "Two young pitchers," Piniella said Friday. "I sent [Rothschild] out in case he had a particular message for [the pitcher]. We've got four young relievers out there, and sometimes a pitching coach can give them a little pointer. We tried it [Thursday]." Rothschild made the switch when rookie Justin Berg entered the game in the eighth and when Andrew Cashner came in in the ninth. ... There's still time to purchase tickets to the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Foundation Casino Night July 21 at the House of Blues. Proceeds benefit their foundation, created to help families with children who have 22q (DiGeorge Syndrome). ... Cubs TV analyst Bob Brenly is in Daytona, Fla., to watch his son, Michael, play for the Class A team. Through Thursday, Michael had a 14-game hitting streak and was batting .434 during that stretch. Bob Brenly was expected back in the television booth Monday, but no word on whether he'll stay as long as Michael keeps his streak going. ... Chicago Cubs board member Todd Ricketts and F.K. Day from SRAM, a premier manufacturer and innovator in the cycling industry, will host the inaugural "Wrigley Field Road Tour: 100 Miles To Go" century ride on Sept. 11 from Wrigley Field to Milwaukee's Miller Park. Proceeds from the Ride benefit Chicago Cubs Charities and World Bicycle Relief, a nonprofit organization that provides bicycles and bicycle education to children in Africa.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.