05/23/11 12:14 AM ET
Pena at ease after visiting Byrd in hospital
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Byrd was struck by an Alfredo Aceves fastball under his left eye in the second inning of Saturday's game against the Red Sox and suffered multiple facial fractures. Pena had flashbacks to what happened to Juan Encarnacion, who was struck in the left eye in September 2007, and Braves Minor League coach Luis Salazar, who lost his left eye earlier this year when he was hit by a foul ball in the dugout.
"You're worrying, 'Man, is he going to be able to see?' Pena said. "One of the things he was yelling is, 'I can't see out of my left eye.' All I'm thinking about is a couple guys I know who have similar injuries very recently."
The good news is that Byrd could see Pena when he stopped by to visit, even though he said his vision was still fuzzy. Even better, Byrd was hungry and eating pizza in the hospital.
"He's doing well," Pena said of the Cubs outfielder. "He's a tough kid. When you see an injury like that, you want to be as optimistic as possible, but all you think is the worst. I was very fearful for his vision, for his eye, for damage to his head."
When Pena arrived at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Byrd was sitting up slightly and able to talk.
"When I saw him, I took a deep breath and it was a relief," Pena said. "He was hungry. He said, 'I'm so hungry.' I said, 'Good.' I know when stuff like that happens, usually the last thing you want to do is eat.
"To see him conscious and cracking a smile, now I could relax a little."
It was a scary moment not just for the Cubs and Red Sox but also for the 37,798 fans at Fenway Park, who made what Pena called a scary noise as Byrd fell to the dirt, writhing in pain.
"You fear the worst -- no matter how positive you are, you fear the worst for your friend," Pena said. "I'm so relieved and so thankful I saw him [at the hospital] and he was way better than I thought he was going to be. I expect him to be back with us pretty soon, even if it's just to hang out. I know the guys will be very happy to see him walking around and smiling and seeing Marlon even if he has a black eye."
The rest of the game, several of the Red Sox players kept asking Pena for an update on Byrd, whose wife, Andrea, was in Boston and with her husband at the hospital. Byrd never lost consciousness and was to fly back to Chicago with the team after Sunday's game.
Byrd will see several specialists during the week, and there's no timetable for his return. The good news is that his vision seemed OK.
"Last night, he told me he could see me," Pena said. "[He said], 'I see you -- you're blurry, but I see you.'"
That was what Pena needed to hear.
Big Z gives Green Monster a spin
BOSTON -- Carlos Zambrano put on a show for the fans taking a tour of Fenway Park on Sunday.
The Cubs pitcher took a few swings in early batting practice and hit one ball over the Green Monster and another on top of the outfield wall. There were a few Cubs fans in the tour who were in the section on top of the wall and they cheered.
"They haven't seen me at Wrigley," said Zambrano, the Cubs' all-time home run leader as far as pitchers are concerned with 22.
Did Fenway feel the same as Wrigley?
"It doesn't seem small at the plate," Zambrano said. "That wall is big."
Cubs' Baker pulled with strained groin
BOSTON -- Cubs left fielder Jeff Baker was lifted from Sunday's game after suffering a strained left groin in the seventh inning.
Baker doubled with two outs and a runner on in the seventh, driving in the Cubs' only run in a 5-1 loss to the Red Sox. But he was limping as he came out of the batter's box and slid awkwardly into second base.
"I got stuck in the box," Baker said of his swing before he hit the double. "It felt really weird. I tried to turn it on and get to second, and it wasn't letting me turn too much. I hope it felt worse than it really is."
Assistant athletic trainer Ed Halbur went out to check on Baker, as did manager Mike Quade, and he was pulled.
Baker will get treatment on Monday and said he hoped he'll be ready on Tuesday to face the Mets.
Berg called up for second time this season
BOSTON -- Cubs reliever Justin Berg was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Sunday to take Marlon Byrd's spot on the roster. Byrd was placed on the 15-day disabled list with multiple facial fractures after being hit on the face by a pitch on Saturday.
The Cubs needed another pitcher after Sunday's starter Matt Garza was scratched because of tightness in his elbow. Garza's injury was revealed on Saturday, leaving the Cubs little time to find a replacement. James Russell, who was 0-4 in four starts out of the bullpen subbing for injured Andrew Cashner, started the Cubs' series finale against the Red Sox on Sunday.
This is Berg's second stint with the big league team. He also was on the roster from April 23-May 14. At Iowa, he was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in seven relief appearances.
Cubs manager Mike Quade said he would reassess the situation after Monday's off-day. The Cubs return to National League play on Tuesday when they open a nine-game homestand, beginning with the Mets. Quade said they don't need 13 pitchers against NL teams.
One option may be to recall outfielder Tyler Colvin, who was demoted to Iowa after batting .113 in 28 games with the big league team.
"Anything's possible," Quade said of Colvin. "I hope we can let him get it together. What if he has a week, 10 days and he's locked in? I think we'll leave that assessment up to the people down there and see what he's doing. Everybody's available."
Next step for Wells to be determined
BOSTON -- Cubs pitcher Randy Wells gave up seven runs on six hits and three walks over four innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday.
Wells, on the disabled list since April 5 with a strained right forearm, struck out three and threw 68 pitches, 43 for strikes. It was his second Minor League rehab start; he also pitched for Class A Peoria.
The Cubs had hoped Wells would be ready for their series against the Pirates, which starts on Friday at Wrigley Field. They will likely wait until Tuesday to announce the next step to wait and see how Wells feels after the outing.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.