05/26/10 9:20 PM ET
Big Z available in 'pen until return to rotation
Cubs undecided on which starter right-hander will replace
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Lee, Soriano together on precipice of 300
CHICAGO -- Maybe Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano can duplicate what Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko did in April 2009.Lee and Soriano both have 299 career homers and were batting third and fourth in Wednesday's lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On April 13, 2009, Dye and Konerko hit their 300th home runs back-to-back in Detroit while with the Chicago White Sox. Dye and Konerko are the first teammates to hit century milestones of at least 300 in the same game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Dye hit a 2-1 pitch from Detroit's Zach Miner, and Konerko went deep with a full count. It was the second homer of the year for both. Lee hit No. 299 on Tuesday, and Soriano reached that mark on Sunday. So far, 125 players have hit 300 home runs, including six who reached the milestone with the Cubs. The most recent was Sammy Sosa on June 26, 1999. Cubs manager Lou Piniella gave Lee a little hitting tip prior to Tuesday's game. "I was here Monday [on the off-day] and I looked at film of Derrek and of [Aramis] Ramirez both," Piniella said. "It was a couple simple little things that I thought would free [Lee] a little bit. "The amazing thing is, the individual is the one who has to respond to it, and last night he did. He drove the ball well to left-center and up in the bleachers in right, a base hit up the middle. It was a good day for him." What if Lee and Soriano homered back-to-back? "That would be nice," Piniella said.
Improving Aramis remains out
CHICAGO -- The swelling had gone down in the left thumb of Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez, but he was not able to do any baseball activity on Wednesday.Ramirez, who was batting .160, is nursing a sprained left thumb and has not started since Saturday, when he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts against the Texas Rangers. "He'll probably try a few flip drills tomorrow and then we'll see where we're at," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said on Wednesday.
Theriot in midst of walk drought
CHICAGO -- Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot's on-base percentage in April was .370. He batted .337 in the first month. Those numbers haven't been as strong in May.In 20 games this month, Theriot was batting .250 with a .267 on-base percentage. He's drawn one walk in 20 games in May, and that was in the eighth inning on May 1. That's it. "He hasn't walked since the first of May?" Cubs manager Lou Piniella asked on Wednesday when the stat was presented to him by one of the Cubs' beat writers. "That is surprising. I wasn't aware of that." The Cubs have had better at-bats and shown improvement in recent games. But Piniella brought up the Theriot stat about four minutes later in his pregame session. "That's unbelievable," Piniella said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.