Cubs' 2010 Plans A Mystery

The Cubs aren't tipping their hand about anything regarding 2010. They have given no indication whether they'll re-sign impending free-agent pitcher Rich Harden, and they shrugged off trade rumors regarding ace Carlos Zambrano.

But manager Lou Piniella did say Wednesday that he'd like his coaching staff to return.

"I think they've done a nice job here, I really do," Piniella said. "I've got a very professional staff. I'm a good delegator. They handle their areas very well. I would be very happy to see them all come back.

"We haven't talked about next year at all, about anything."

The Cubs made one coaching change during the season, firing batting coach Gerald Perry and promoting Von Joshua from the minor leagues.

As far as Zambrano goes, Piniella said he wants him back, too. Zambrano is in the middle of a $91.5 million contract that expires after 2012, and he has a no-trade clause.

"I like the young man personally," Piniella said. "He's certainly capable of pitching better than he has this year. He needs to stay healthy, and part of staying healthy is working as hard as possible toward that goal."


--C Geovany Soto was charged with an error in the fourth as he picked up an errant pitch with his mask, allowing a baserunner an extra base.

"I don't think Soto knew the rule, I'll be honest with you," said Piniella. "We told him he couldn't use his helmet, either, just to make sure."

--The Cubs selected the contract of veteran OF So Taguchi from Class AAA Iowa in Des Moines. Taguchi went to spring training with the Cubs as a non-roster player. He is insurance because backup OF Sam Fuld strained his right thumb making a catch Monday night. Fuld could be out for a week. Taguchi, who has played with the Cardinals and Phillies, hit .248 for Iowa. He was at his St. Louis home when the call came Tuesday, and at first, he ignored it.

"I looked at my phone, and it was a Chicago number," Taguchi said. "I said, 'I don't have any friends in Chicago, maybe this is a wrong call,' and I just ignored it. After maybe two hours, my agent finally called me. He said, 'What are you doing?' I'm just sitting on the couch."

--1B Derrek Lee reached the 100-RBI mark for the second time in his career with a two-run double in the fourth inning Tuesday. Lee previously drove in 100 runs in 2005. He added one more RBI on a walk to reach 101.

"It means I'm doing my job," he said. "Guys in front of me have gotten on base, and I've driven them in."

--Soto moved up to the No. 5 spot and recorded the 100th extra-base hit of his career with a game-tying homer in the fifth inning Tuesday. He went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and now has driven in eight on the homestand.

--OF Kosuke Fukudome's hitting coach, Kyosuke Sasaki, is with the Cubs for the second time this year, making the trip from Japan. Fukudome has slumped of late, and Piniella thinks he's trying to pull the ball too much.

"He's been spinning a little bit," Piniella said. "He's got to stay in a little longer. Notice how many times have you seen him hit the ball to left field? Not much. When you isolate only one field, that's not good. He needs the whole field to hit with and not become so pull conscious."

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