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02/29/08 3:09 PM ET

Ramirez sits out opener

Cubs third baseman day-to-day with sore right shoulder

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez was sidelined Friday for the team's Cactus League home opener because of a tight right shoulder that has kept him from throwing.

Ramirez developed some soreness a few days ago, and his status was day-to-day.

"I'm all right hitting -- it's just throwing the ball," Ramirez said. "Last year, I had the same thing. I don't know what's up with that -- I don't do the same kind of throwing that I do in the Dominican in the offseason. I went through it last year. I'll be all right."

Ramirez took grounders before batting practice on Friday, but did not make any throws. He also was able to hit.

"We've got plenty of games," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "When he's ready to go, we'll put him out there to play."

Ramirez downplayed the injury.

"It's a day-to-day thing," he said. "I feel good today, but they want to give me a day off throwing, and I'll see tomorrow how it goes.

"I don't know how many games I'm going to miss, but you don't need 30 games to get ready for the season," he said. "I'll be back in plenty of time."

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The Cubs will play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Saturday, and Ramirez could start as the designated hitter, but Piniella said he'd rather wait.

"I'd rather have a player 100 percent," Piniella said. "It gives me a chance to see a lot of these younger kids here early in camp. Pretty soon, [general manager] Jim Hendry will come around and start asking me for cuts. There's a long time to go in Spring Training, so there's no sense in DHing somebody if something's bothering him."

The only other Cubs nursing aches and pains were first baseman Daryle Ward, sidelined with a sore gluteus muscle, and infielder Ronny Cedeno, whose right forearm was tender from all the throwing he has been doing.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.