9/16 Soriano, Soto, Johnson & more
Alfonso Soriano was in the clubhouse Wednesday, one day after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He can only rest and ice for now, but will begin his rehab Monday when he joins the team in Milwaukee.
“Everything’s good,” Soriano said. “Today, I feel better than yesterday, and I hope tomorrow, I feel better than today.”
* So Taguchi was sitting on the couch in his St. Louis home Tuesday when he got a phone call. He didn’t recognize the number, so he didn’t answer it. His agent finally contacted Taguchi and told him to get in touch with Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita, who wanted to know if Taguchi had any plans for the next two weeks. The 40-year-old outfielder said it took about 10 seconds to say he was available.
Taguchi, who spent the season at Triple-A Iowa, was needed as a backup in center field. Both Sam Fuld and Reed Johnson are about one week away from being available, leaving the Cubs a little short for the final 18 games.
The problem with Johnson’s fractured foot is that the injury is in an area that doesn’t get much blood, which is why it’s taking longer to heal.
“It’s just kind of a bad spot,” Johnson said. “It’s going to heal — it’s just a matter of when it’s going to heal.”
* Geovany Soto finally looks like he did last season when he won the NL Rookie of the Year award. Soto was batting .360 in his last seven games after batting .128 in August.
“He seems more relaxed and he’s hitting the ball, he’s driving it,” Lou Piniella said. “This is what we saw last year. It bodes well for us and for him, too. I’m happy to see him attacking the ball.”
* Mike Anderson, who was Randy Wells’ pitching coach in the Minor Leagues and helped the right-hander make the conversion from catcher to pitcher, was scouting the Cubs and Brewers this week. He’ll be in the stands Thursday to watch his protege. Anderson is now a scout for the Rangers.
— Carrie Muskat