MLB Insiders - Here Comes the Cubs

There is no crying in baseball, unless of course, you finish the month of May with a 7-22 record. The Chicago Cubs have still not announced if Kerry Woods will pitch either on Saturday or Sunday in St. Louis.

MLB Insiders

Even though Phil Nevin was struggling with a .216 average with Texas, he has nine homers and 31 RBIs and that's as good as anything the Cubs have right now.

The Cubs traded infielder-outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. for Nevin on Wednesday. While it appears that Nevin doesn't have a starting spot locked down on the Cubs, he can play so many positions that he will be challenging several Cubs players to step up.

At the time of the trade, Aramis Ramirez led the Cubs with nine homers, while Todd Walker and Jacque Jones each lead the team with 26 RBIs.

Hairston was one of several bench players on the Cubs whose main position was second base. And even though he played all three outfield positions, Hairston's .207 average made him expendable.

The Cubs appear happy to keep veteran second baseman Tony Womack around. Womack was brought up from Triple-A Iowa last week after he was released by Cincinnati earlier in the year.

REPLAY: The Cubs were beaten by Cincinnati, 3-2 on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field and finished May with a 7-22 mark, one of their worst months since going 6-22 in September 2000.

Carlos Zambrano threw five shutout innings before surrendering two in the sixth and fell to 3-3 -- his first loss since April 30. Jacque Jones hit his second home run in as many nights with a two-run blast in the eighth, but it was not enough.


--RHP Greg Maddux, who left Tuesday's game with stiffness in his back and legs after returning to the game following a one-hour rain delay, reported no lasting effects from the discomfort and plans on making his next start.

--INF-OF Phil Nevin was traded to the Cubs from Texas on Wednesday and even though Nevin was hitting .216, his nine home runs is as many as Cubs leader Aramis Ramirez and his 31 RBIs is higher than any Cubs player. With those power numbers, it will hard to keep him out of the lineup even though there doesn't appear to be a starting spot open.

He might back up at first base until Derrek Lee returns.

--1B Derrek Lee (fractured right wrist) had his cast removed on Wednesday and trainer Mark O'Neal said it could be "several weeks" before he is back. It's looking like a mid-June return is a possibility.

--RHP Mark Prior has been cleared to make his second rehab start at Class A Peoria on Saturday. Prior, who is returning from shoulder soreness, will likely shoot for 60 pitches after throwing 44 on Monday for Peoria.

--RHP Kerry Wood still has not been announced as Saturday or Sunday's pitcher against St. Louis. Because of Thursday's off day, the Cubs could rest him a fifth day in between starts and start Glendon Rusch on Saturday. Or they could opt to send Wood (who has three major league starts after Aug. 31 shoulder surgery) on Saturday with the usual four days of rest.

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