4/7 Quick hits
Milton Bradley’s left ankle was taped up but he was still in the Cubs lineup Tuesday, one day after stepping awkwardly on first base. Bradley came up limping but stayed in Monday’s game. Lou Piniella said the problem was “minor” and didn’t consider lifting Bradley for defensive purposes. “He’s a good outfielder,” Piniella said.
* On Reed Johnson’s start in center vs. Houston lefty Wandy Rodriguez, Piniella said he likes the energy the outfielder brings to the team. “You’ll see him in center, you’ll see him in right a little bit, you’ll see him in left from time to time,” Piniella said. “Everybody’s going to play here. Reed deserves to be in that lineup. He’s done a good job for us.”
* The Cubs still have two more season openers — Friday in Milwaukee and April 13 at Wrigley Field. He was asked about the “pomp and circumstance” at Minute Maid on Monday night.
“There wasn’t much pomp and circumstance,” Piniella said. “We had a few helicopters fly over. I didn’t see that much pomp and circumstance — I didn’t see any cheerleaders or marching bands or anything else. They didn’t have a parade around here.”
The only thing missing was the bald eagle often seen in pregame ceremonies.
“I think the home fans enjoy it one day a year,” Piniella said.
(Note to the Cubs marketing department: He was not endorsing adding cheerleaders)
* Right now, the roof to Minute Maid Park is open, and was expected to stay that way for the game.
— Carrie Muskat