Fuld Slated to Come off the DL Soon

Class A Daytona center fielder Sam Fuld has been sidelined since June 21 with a back-related injury. He was placed on the seven-day disabled list and was batting .328 with a .406 on base percentage through 67 games at the time.

"An MRI in my lower back found a slightly bulged disc, which could have resulted in a pinched nerve," said the 24-year-old Fuld, who is leading the Cubs' farm system in batting average for any full-season player.

"This was all new to me. I don't remember any specific play where it happened; it just kind of crept up on me."

The injury proved to be nothing major and Fuld is planning to return to the Cubs' lineup atop the order within the next coming days.

The former college standout at Stanford, who was drafted in consecutive years by the Cubs in 2003 and '04, was named to the Florida State League mid-season all-star team after initially missing the cut.

When Jupiter's Brett Carroll was promoted to Double-A Carolina, Fuld was tapped as his replacement.

Fuld made his professional debut last season at Class A Peoria and struggled out of the gate before turning it on in June and closing out the year with an even .300 average. After signing with the Cubs following his senior year with the Cardinal, he missed out on any chance of joining a minor league affiliate in '04 due to a shoulder injury.

Earlier this season between May 9-28, Fuld hit safely in 17 consecutive games, tied for the league's longest hitting streak of the year. He also reached base in 33 consecutive games from May 1-June 6, batting .413 in May with 10 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs.

"I've been confident all season, trying to get as many good pitches to hit as possible," Fuld said. "I've been trying not to change my approach too much and just rely on my skills."

Daytona is off to a 5-2 start in the second half and will wrap up a three-game series in Vero Beach against the Dodgers Friday night under new manager Buddy Bailey. The Cubs were 35-35 in the first half under Don Buford.


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