07/24/10 5:56 PM ET
Golden given royal welcome at Wrigley
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Golden, the Cubs' second-round Draft pick, signed his contract on Friday and was able to do a little hitting in the cage with players such as Marlon Byrd, Mike Fontenot, Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome. The Cubs now have signed 24 of their first 50 selections.
"It feels good," Golden said of being in a Major League clubhouse. "I grew up watching these guys play, especially Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano. I've got chills."
Golden, selected out of Wetumpka High School in Wetumpka, Ala., was recommended by area scout Tom Clark, who accompanied the outfielder on Saturday.
"He's a combination of speed and power, and that's hard to find, especially nowadays," Clark said. "He can run, and he has power."
Golden finished his high school career with 36 home runs, 156 RBIs and 146 runs. He did sign with the University of Alabama, but has instead opted to get his professional career started.
On Draft day in June, more than 100 friends and family gathered at the Wetumpka Civic Center, thinking he might be picked in the first round. Baseball coach Ray Mullino, with the help of Mayor Jerry Willis, arranged the get-together.
"The Draft is something you can't predict," Mullino told reporters that night.
"I think everybody was excited, and there was a big turnout," Clark said on Saturday. "[Golden] said to me, 'I didn't even know the Cubs liked me.' And I said, 'I told you I wouldn't bug you during the year.'"
Clark had seen Golden on tape, but said there's more to the youngster than the physical skills.
"He's very talented, but he's also a great kid," Clark said. "He's got super makeup."
Golden is fast -- he looks fast standing still -- and Clark agreed. How fast?
"Decent," Golden said modestly.
"He's got four really strong tools and an average arm," Clark said. "That's the biggest thing he'll need to work on. It's a playable arm, but something he needs to work on. I think he'll get better."
Golden played right and center in high school, but Clark projected the outfielder as taking over in left someday.
Byrd talked to Golden and escorted him to the batting cage.
"I have a few butterflies," Golden said.
Next stop is Mesa, Ariz., to get some workouts in.
"I'm ready to play now," Golden said. "This is my dream."
Lilly trade not imminent, say Cubs
CHICAGO -- There are reports that Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly could be dealt prior to his next start Tuesday against the Houston Astros, but Saturday was business as usual for the left-hander, who did his side session at Wrigley Field.
The Chicago Sun-Times quoted unnamed "Major League sources" as saying Lilly could be moved before Tuesday to one of the teams in search of pitching for the postseason run. However, team officials said on Saturday nothing is imminent.
The Cubs pulled within nine games of St. Louis in the National League Central on Saturday with a 6-5 win over the Cardinals. The Trade Deadline is one week away. What would manager Lou Piniella tell general manager Jim Hendry if he asked whether to move a player, such as Lilly?
"That's going to be Jim's call," Piniella said on Saturday. "My response would be, let's give this a longer period of time. Nine games is a lot, but it's not that much. You can't make it up in a week or 10 days, but over a period of time, picking up a game here, a game there, you'd be surprised. You can be in a pennant race playing good baseball by the middle of August. That's what our thoughts are, and we'll see what happens."
Lilly (3-8, 3.88 ERA) is a free agent after this season and has a partial no-trade clause. He leads the Major Leagues in least amount of run support and is 0-2 in four July starts with a 6.57 ERA.
A Major League scout who watched Carlos Zambrano in his first outing at Triple-A Iowa on Thursday was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying the pitcher looked like a "middle reliever." It was only Zambrano's second game action since June 25, his last game with the Cubs before being placed on the restricted list.
Zambrano (3-6, 5.66 ERA) is not expected to rejoin the Cubs until the team is in Colorado July 30.
CHICAGO -- Lefty John Grabow, rehabbing from a strained left knee, threw off the mound on Saturday. Grabow, on the disabled list since June 29, may be activated next week. ... Second baseman Ryan Theriot is hosting a golf tournament Nov. 12-13 in Baton Rouge, La., to benefit the National Wildlife Foundation and the Gulf Coast. ... Michael Brenley, son of Cubs television broadcaster Bob Brenly, has reached base safely in 22 straight games for Class A Daytona. His hitting streak ended at 20 games on Thursday. ... Aramis Ramirez's 24 RBIs in July are tied for the most in baseball with the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.