5/29 Quick hits
Last year, the bottom of the order gave the Cubs a boost. The sixth, seventh and eighth hitters haven’t contributed as much this season. “The injury to [Aramis] Ramirez makes us a little more vulnerable at the end,” Lou Piniella said. “If you just depend on one, two or three hitters to hit, you’re going to struggle. You need contributions.”
* With the Dodgers starting left-handers on Saturday and Sunday, will Jake Fox get a start?
“The problem with Fox is where do I put him?” Piniella said. “He’s out there working right now at third base. You saw the feed [Thursday] to the second baseman. I would love to get him in the lineup. The kid can swing the bat, I recognize that. Let’s just see what plays itself out. When Alan Trammell tells me he’s comfortable as the infield coach [having Fox at third], then I’ll be comfortable as the manager.”
* Alfonso Soriano’s left knee is sore.
“The trainer hasn’t told me he can’t play,” Piniella said. “Soriano is a tough kid and wants to play. If it persists, we might have to get him out of there for a few days.”
* With the off day Monday and Carlos Zambrano serving his suspension, the rotation for the upcoming series at Atlanta will be: Randy Wells on Tuesday, Ted Lilly on Wednesday, and Zambrano on Thursday.
“Wells has pitched excellent,” Piniella said of the rookie. “If he continues to pitch like that, he’ll win a lot of ballgames. The ratio of strikes to balls is good, he throws three different pitches over the plate. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way he’s performed.”
* Rich Harden was able to play catch again on Friday and is making progress. He’s on the disabled list with a mid back strain.
– Carrie Muskat