Roster Shakeup for Cubs

The Cubs visit the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in a three-game set starting on Friday and there will be a roster shakeup.

Three players are scheduled to come off the disabled list when the series starts.

Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra will make his first start since injuring his groin in a game against St. Louis on April 20.

Pitcher Kerry Wood, who has been feeling shoulder discomfort all season, will be activated and pitch out of the bullpen for the first time in his career.

And reliever Scott Williamson, who had "Tommy John" elbow surgery last October, is ready to come off the DL and make his debut with the Cubs.

It's likely that reliever Sergio Mitre and shortstop Ronny Cedeno will be sent to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the roster.

But the Cubs must decide on the third spot. They could send relievers Michael Wuertz, Will Ohman or Roberto Novoa to Triple-A. They could also designate veteran left-hander Mike Remlinger for assignment.


--Some broadcasters speculate Corey Patterson will be back in a Cubs uniform in the next week.

But the fact is that if the demoted center fielder does not quickly take to his new compact swing, he may end up being a September call-up.

Patterson's had some growing pains in his first 18 games with Triple-A Iowa, hitting .214 with three homers and seven RBIS and a .276 on-base percentage.

"We haven't really talked about it," manager Dusty Baker said of Patterson's potential return. "He missed the first four or five days because of the All-Star break and a two or three others because of the flu. Theoretically, he's played a little bit over two weeks.

"We're getting reports on him every day. Some days he's better. Some days good. And some days not so good. He's a quick learner. I'm hoping that he is."

--Since Kenny Lofton left to become a free agent after the 2003 season, the Cubs have had plenty of problems coming up with a leadoff man.

They hope they found their man with Matt Lawton.

The Cubs traded Jody Gerut for Lawton on Sunday and beat the non-waiver trade deadline. Lawton has a .382 on-base percentage and more walks (57) and stolen bases (16) than any other member of the Cubs.

"He's not a Kenny Lofton type of base stealer but certainly with his on-base percentage, which is the best in the league among leadoff men, he's certainly capable of getting some innings going and setting the table for Derrek (Lee), Aramis (Ramirez) and (Jeromy) Burnitz. And he can knock in some runs," general manager Jim Hendry said.

Lawton drove in 44 runs in his first 100 games with the Pirates.

Cubs second baseman Todd Walker was once a minor league roommate with Lawton and said he's still friends with the 33-year-old left-handed hitter.

"Matt's a good leadoff guy with a lot of speed," Walker said. "He's a 20-20 (homers-stolen bases) guy. I think bringing him over here from the Pirates is going to have the same effect as it did Aramis. I think he's going to rise in this environment."

--CF Jerry Hairston Jr. dropped from leadoff to No. 2 in the lineup on Tuesday after the addition of Matt Lawton.

--2B Todd Walker, who had been batting second in the lineup, was dropped to sixth in the lineup on Tuesday against Philadelphia after the addition of Matt Lawton. Lawton batted first, former leadoff hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. was batting second and Walked was moved into the heart of the lineup.

--RHP Carlos Zambrano threw eight shutout innings against Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Since being shelled for eight runs against Milwaukee on June 22, Zambrano allowed nine earned runs in 40 innings.

--RHP Scott Williamson pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Iowa on Monday night and another inning of scoreless ball on Tuesday. Williamson, who had elbow surgery last October, could be promoted to the Cubs on Friday.

--OF Todd Hollandsworth will have his playing time reduced with the addition of Matt Lawton to the team. Hollandsworth hasn't panned out as an everyday player but has proved to be a valuable bench player in his career, and that should help the Cubs' depth.

--RHP Greg Maddux, who has one victory in his last seven starts, needs seven victories to win 15 or more for an 18th straight season. Maddux might have just 10 or 11 more starts left to do it.

--Manager Dusty Baker denied a Los Angeles Times report that he would "love" to get out of Chicago and manage the Dodgers. Baker is in the third year of a four-year, $14 million deal. "That's not right," Baker said. "I am here. OK? I want to win here. I want to win for the Cubs and the players. I want to win for the front office. I want to win for the town -- a town that potentially someday and at some point in time will be extremely proud of the Cubs team."

--LHP Rich Hill, who gave up two runs in six innings of a no-decision against Arizona on Saturday, has pitched well enough where he appears to be set in the rotation for a while. The rookie took over the spot vacated by Kerry Wood, who reinjured his shoulder and is headed to the bullpen when he returns.

--RHP Ryan Dempster, a former starter who is now the team's closer, took the win in three straight Chicago victories last week after the Cubs posted late rallies against St. Louis and San Francisco. "Maybe I'll win 20 games," he joked.

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