Lee says no to Team USA; Soto is back
Mark DeRosa and Ted Lilly have not called Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee to try to lobby him to play this weekend in the World Baseball Classic.
“I’m not going,” Lee said Thursday. “I’m not even playing here.”
Lee was scratched from the Cubs’ lineup on Tuesday because of a sore right quad, and was expected back on Friday. He had not talked to anyone from Team USA, but did say that team’s trainer had contacted Cubs athletic trainer Mark O’Neal to see if Lee was available. Team USA is short-handed because Boston’s Kevin Youkilis has a sprained ankle. Adam Dunn played first base on Wednesday night against Venezuela.
Lee’s leg injury isn’t serious.
“If it was the season, I’d be playing,” he said.
Lee was to take batting practice on Thursday for the first time since Tuesday.
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano also will not join Venezuela this weekend in the World Baseball Classic. Venezuela is short-handed on the pitching side, but Zambrano said he’s staying in the Cubs camp. Teams in the World Baseball Classic can add players who were already on their provisional roster for each round.
Catcher Geovany Soto did rejoin the Cubs on Thursday. Soto and the Puerto Rican team were eliminated in the second round by the U.S. team.
– Carrie Muskat