In question is the spot owned by right-hander Ryan Dempster, who is on the DL (retro to June 16) with a sore right lat muscle. Currently, Dempster's spot is being held down by right-hander Randy Wells.
However, Wells got anything but a ringing endorsement Wednesday night after the Cubs fell 7-0 to the White Sox. Wells made it through only 3 2/3 innings in that start, his third of the season.
Manager Dale Sveum said the Cubs would evaluate the situation over the weekend in Arizona. Wells is not guaranteed to start again.
Sveum said the Cubs could go with right-hander Chris Volstad, who opened the season in Chicago, only to be sent to Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa in mid-May after opening 0-6.
The other option Sveum mentioned was left-hander Chris Rusin, a 25-year-old lefty who went to spring training as a non-roster player.
Volstad has done better at Iowa, going 2-1 with a 4.78 ERA in six starts since his demotion. Rusin, a fourth-round draft choice in 2009, is 5-5 with a 4.56 ERA in 14 starts. Matchups for next week's home series against the Mets could determine whom the Cubs bring up if they decide not to give Wells another chance.
--RHP Jeff Samardzija will be trying to break a three-game losing streak when he starts Friday night's series opener at Arizona. Samardzija has not won since May 29, when he beat San Diego to run his record to 5-3 with a 3.09 ERA. He's now at 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA. His last appearance against Arizona came on May 11, 2011, as a reliever.
--LF Alfonso Soriano will go back into the outfield now that interleague play is over. The Cubs used him as DH in their six games at American League parks. Soriano said he appreciated the strong backing from manager Dale Sveum and his teammates after he was booed at home Sunday night for not getting out of the batter's box on a hard line drive to third base that was dropped. "I'm happy because they know how hard I work," he said. "They know my mentality, that I want to win. I think that's why they support me, because they know who I am."
--1B Bryan LaHair played two uneventful games in right field against the White Sox as the Cubs prepare for the arrival of first-base prospect Anthony Rizzo from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. LaHair moved back to first base for Wednesday's finale. "People make a big deal out of moving around," said manager Dale Sveum. "When you're up at that batter's box, you're not thinking about what position you're playing or where you're hitting in the order or anything like that. You're locked in to getting a hit off the pitcher. So I don't think it affects anybody when they're moving around."
--3B Luis Valbuena has filled in adequately for Ian Stewart, on the DL with left wrist soreness. Valbuena has made just one error. Even though Valbuena is batting just .217 (5-for-23), he has two home runs, including one off Red Sox LHP Jon Lester.
--RHP Manny Corpas has assumed a bigger late inning role since the Cubs reinstated RHP Carlos Marmol as closer. Corpas, whose contract was selected from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa on June 6, has an 0.93 ERA in eight appearances. "He and (RHP Shawn) Camp are that seventh, eighth (inning) guy that we can use," manager Dale Sveum said. "Now, having (LHPs Scott) Maine and (James) Russell, you can mix and match the sixth, seventh, eighth inning when you have the lead and do a lot more things that way."
BY THE NUMBERS: 16 -- Consecutive road games LF Alfonso Soriano has reached base in. He's 18-for-60 (.300) in that span.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You're just always trying to win series, back to back. Keep winning series is what you want to do in baseball, especially if you haven't won a lot. If you keep winning series, you can get back into this thing, in some kind of fashion anyway." -- Manager Dale Sveum after his team beat the White Sox two of three to win their first series since the end of May
--RHP Ryan Dempster (tight right lat muscle) was placed on the disabled list June 18, retroactive to June 16. It's not believed to be a serious injury.
--3B Ian Stewart (sore left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13. He's been bothered by the injury for much of the season. Further exams showed nothing major, manager Dale Sveum said.
--C Geovany Soto (arthroscopic left knee surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 17. He underwent a procedure May 18 to repair a torn meniscus. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Iowa on June 11 and was activated from the DL on June 18.
--RHP Lendy Castillo (left groin strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 12.
--RHP Blake Parker (right elbow stress reaction) went on the 60-day disabled list June 6.
--RHP Marcos Mateo (ulnar neuritis in right arm) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4.