8/28 LIneup, waivers & birthday wishes
Rookie Sam Fuld was starting in center field Friday in Game 1 vs. the Mets. New York is starting a lefty. It’ll be:
* Rich Harden said he was surprised to hear he was claimed on waivers. FoxSports.com reported that Harden and Aaron Heilman were both claimed on Thursday, and if so, the Cubs would have until noon Monday to make a decision. The Cubs can either let the pitchers go to the team that claimed them, try to trade the pitchers to the team that claimed them, or pull them back and keep them. Teams that are in playoff contention need to finalize their postseason rosters by Aug. 31, so if a team were to add Harden or Heilman, they would have to do so by Monday.
“I’m happy being here and like being here,” Harden said Friday. “We’ll see what happens.”
Every team puts players through waivers, so it’s not unusual for Harden and Heilman to be subjected to this. What is unusual is to have their names released. The information is confidential. The Cubs won’t even confirm whether they’ve been contacted by the club that claimed the pitchers.
Harden is focused on his next start.
“I still plan on starting here Monday and anything can happen,” Harden said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but basically, my priority is to pitch for this team and nothing else. I’m happy here, I love playing here, the fans are good. We’ll see what happens.”
* On the final month of games:
“We’re trying to win as many games as we can and finish as well as we can,” Lou Piniella said. “I’d like to finish as strong as possible and I think the players feel the same way.”
* Expect the Cubs to call up seven or eight players when rosters expand Sept. 1. The list was expected to include players who have been with the big league team this year, which would include Micah Hoffpauir, Justin Berg, Andres Blanco, David Patton, and Bobby Scales.
* It’s not only Piniella’s 66th birthday Friday, but b-day greetings go out to Randy Wells and strength coach Tim Buss.
“I’m 66, but I feel like 76,” Piniella said. “Hopefully we’ll get a win and it’ll make me feel a lot better.”
— Carrie Muskat