05/24/11 10:37 PM ET
Byrd progressing, not ready for activity
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Byrd was hit on the left side of his face Saturday night by a pitch from Boston's Alfredo Aceves. He saw Dr. Jonathan Rosin, a specialist at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, on Monday and will be re-examined this week.
"The bruising in the retina area is subsiding some, which is good," Hendry said. "Because of the fractures and the bruising in that spot, it's detrimental for him to do any more than walking around for one to two more weeks. That's not surprising, and that's good news because the healing process has started. We'll have to play that by ear."
Hendry said they cannot put a timetable on when Byrd could return.
"For as devastating as it could've been, he certainly will be able to play in a reasonable amount of time," Hendry said.
Byrd was hospitalized overnight on Saturday but was able to fly back from Boston on the team plane Sunday night.
"It was good to see him afterwards and it was good to see him because he's OK, relatively speaking, and that's the main thing," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "It was a pretty dangerous situation. Nobody will come back from this quicker than he will. I don't know how quick it will be but nobody will come back quicker."
Byrd was the Cubs' No. 3 batter for most of the season, although Starlin Castro has made 16 starts there and was batting third Tuesday as the team opened a homestand against the Mets.
"I'm still happy with the 1-2-3 guys getting on base and doing what they do," Quade said. "We're still getting our hits. I don't think you do any good by sliding guys up who are in the middle and having them hit first or second. We just need production out of the middle of this lineup like everybody in baseball does."
Soto could rejoin Cubs over weekend
CHICAGO -- Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, sidelined with a strained left groin, could rejoin the club this weekend if he makes progress in his rehab this week at Double-A Tennessee.
Soto, who has been sidelined since May 11, was to play in a game at extended spring camp in Mesa, Ariz., on Wednesday, then join the Minor League team Thursday in Knoxville and start in two games there.
He will not join the Triple-A Iowa club because they have one home game Thursday, then hit the road.
Soto, who was batting .226 in 31 games before he was hurt, did drills Tuesday in Mesa and passed all the tests, general manager Jim Hendry said.
CHICAGO -- Utility man Jeff Baker, who had to leave Sunday's game with a strained left groin, was available to pinch-hit Tuesday, Cubs manager Mike Quade said. Baker has a .525 average this season against left-handers and Quade said he had to fight the urge to start the infielder.
Quade asked Kosuke Fukudome to work out in center during batting practice. With Marlon Byrd sidelined indefinitely after being hit in the face by a pitch, Quade wanted backup in center. Fukudome has played right field this season. Reed Johnson will get most of the playing time in center.
Brian Schlitter (right elbow strain) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the Cubs' 40-man roster for Lou Montanez, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Iowa Tuesday.
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.