Notes and Quotes

The Cubs will replace rookie Rich Hill with Glendon Rusch when they open a road series in Houston on Monday.

Rusch to Start Monday

Rusch has been a starter and reliever for the Cubs the past two seasons but hasn't started since late June. He is not stretched out for starting so manager Dusty Baker is crossing his fingers Rusch can go at least five innings.

Hill combined to go 4 1/3 in his past two outings.

"We're just going to try to get whatever we can out of Glendon," Baker said. "That's what we've been getting anyway in that spot, right? The key is to get some more (innings by a starter) before that and after that so we don't put a strain on my bullpen for two or three days."

Wood Likely to Stay in Bullpen

While there is speculation the Cubs may use Kerry Wood as a starter again in 2005, it doesn't seem likely.

Wood's shoulder, which helped land him on the disabled list twice this year, acts up during starts and he has been pitching out of the bullpen for the first time in his career.

Wood hit 100 mph on the radar gun on Wednesday, and manager Dusty Baker said he didn't know if Wood could return to the rotation.

"The problem doesn't come until he gets to 50 or 60 pitches," Baker said. "Then we have to shut him down for a period of time. It hasn't happened since he's been relieving. We probably won't know what the cause was until after the season or whenever we shut him down."

Look for Wood to have offseason surgery to clean up the area in his shoulder.

Wood made his first meaningful appearance out of the bullpen on Friday when he came into a game with St. Louis with a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning. He pitched a scoreless inning but gave up a hit and a walk. He struck out John Rodriguez on three pitches to get out of the jam. Prior to that appearance, he was involved in three appearances when the Cubs were getting blown out.

Ramirez Not 100 Percent

3B Aramis Ramirez is playing through a tight quadriceps muscle and has been encouraged by manager Dusty Baker to take is easy when he plays.

Ramirez is doing just that. But he is starting to receive heavy criticism for not hustling on the basepaths.

"He told me if I didn't have to rush it -- don't do it," Ramirez said. "The team needs me out there every day."

Ramirez injured the quad on July 27 and he hasn't been able to run well on is since.

"He hasn't been 100 percent for awhile," Baker said. "I told him 'hey man, play smart, we can't afford to lose you. We gotta have to for the next at-bat or the next day.'

"It may look like he's not hustling, but he hurt his leg hustling on a play running to first base. We don't want to lose him for two weeks and we want him to play smart. Sometimes it's going to look bad. The fans think he's not hustling. But we need his bat in the lineup."

Zambrano Nursing Back

RHP Carlos Zambrano, who had to leave his Aug. 7 start because of tightness in his back, threw six shutout innings against St. Louis on Friday before leaving with more tightness in the back. Zambrano said he will continue to exercise the back into shape and is not worried about it.

Other Notes

RF Jeromy Burnitz played Friday after taking a day off on Thursday and stayed in his hitting slump, going 0-for-4 and 2 for his last 36. The slump might also be affecting him in the field as he stumbled and was not able to catch a routine fly in the ninth inning to allow St. Louis its only run of the game.

CF Corey Patterson, who returned to the parent club on Tuesday after spending a month at Triple-A Iowa, went 3-for-4 on Thursday against St. Louis and made an inning-ending diving catch in the sixth inning. He injured his left thumb on the play but finished the game and thought he would be all right.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Times this season in his first 24 starts RHP Carlos Zambrano has left a game with an injury. He has not gone on the disabled list.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Policing has a different meaning now. It depends on to what degree or what magnitude. We used to jack guys up. Let's just use the general term 'jack guys up.' And if he didn't like it, there were four or five other guys who would jack him up afterward." -- Cubs manager Dusty Baker on the way players in his day handled problems in the clubhouse.


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