7/25 Quick hits

Left-handed reliever B.J. Ryan was to report to Triple-A Iowa on Monday. The Cubs signed Ryan to a Minor League contract. Minor League pitching coordinator Mark Riggins has been working with the lefty in Mesa, Ariz.

“The reports from Riggins are that he’s throwing the ball well and he thinks he can come up here and help us at least as a second lefty out of the bullpen,” Lou Piniella said of Ryan, who saved more than 30 games three seasons.

* Aaron Miles, on the DL for the second time this season because of a hyperextended elbow, was playing at Iowa.

* Catcher Geovany Soto was to begin taking batting practice on Saturday. Soto has been on the DL since July 7 because of a left oblique strain.

“It’s my understanding that he should be ready the first four, five days of August,” Piniella said.

The Cubs are considering giving Koyie Hill a breather, and having Jake Fox catch one of the games. Piniella projected Fox could be behind the plate for either Randy Wells or Rich Harden. They wanted Hill behind the plate against the Phillies and Reds, because both teams run well.

– Carrie Muskat

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