Spring Notebook: Floyd Sidelined

Cliff Floyd, who has been on the disabled list 10 times in his major league career, is scheduled to miss the first seven to 10 Cactus League games because he is still recovering from Oct. 24 bone spur surgery in his left heel.

The 34-year-old veteran, however, said he is feeling "100 times" better than he has felt in his last four camps and could play in these games.

But the Cubs medical staff said it would be wise to take it easy with the team's new left fielder.

Floyd said he tried to argue to play, but the Cubs weren't listening.

"You want to play," Floyd said. "You want to play every day, and I think if it was any other way, Skip (manager Lou Piniella) wouldn't like that. If I just sat back and said, 'Well, OK ...,' I don't think he would like that. He wants me to be amped up and be ready for him to play every single day."

Floyd has been hitting some monster shots in batting practice, but he won't be able to show that power in game action for a while.

"I'm ready, but I have to do what I'm told," Floyd said. "As long as I'm ready by April 1, it will be easier to answer these questions because there will be no questions to answer. I'll be playing."

The Cubs picked up Floyd, a native of Chicago's south suburbs, as a free agent during the offseason.

NOTES AND QUOTES

  • CF Alfonso Soriano made a catch in his first Cactus League game at his new position on March 1. Soriano moved from second base to left field with Washington last year and caused controversy when he sat out an exhibition game in protest. But he inked an eight-year, $136 million deal and agreed to try center field out for the North Siders this year.

    "I feel comfortable in this position," Soriano said. "Last year, I had some problems, but this year I'm more relaxed."

  • LF Cliff Floyd, who had surgery to remove bone spurs from his left heel in October, isn't expected to play in Cactus League game before March 7 because the Cubs are being cautious with him.

  • RHP Michael Wuertz, who is fighting Roberto Novoa for one of the final spots in the bullpen, came up with a right shoulder sprain and will be shut down over the weekend. The Cubs think he can resume his workload in the middle of the week.

  • RHP Jason Marquis, who had a 6.02 ERA with St. Louis last year, said he is working on his mechanics to try to stand tall on his back leg to get his hand in the proper position to try to get back into form this year. Marquis gave up a run in two innings against San Francisco in the Cactus League opener on March 1.

  • RHP Mark Prior, who had shoulder problems hinder most of his 2006 campaign, was originally going to be kept out of the mix in the first five or six exhibition games, but the Cubs changed their minds and will allow him to start and pitch six innings in the fifth game on March 5 against Seattle.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 18 -- Times Cubs legend Ron Santo has been on the Hall of Fame ballot and has been denied access to the Hall.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I saw my career flash before my eyes. That could have been bad for me." -- Cubs catching prospect Jake Fox, who hit a wicked comebacker to the mound and off RHP Mark Prior's glove during batting practice.


  • Northsiders Report Top Stories