Ramirez could play by week's end

Cubs’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez’s right thumb injury has relegated the former All-Star to the bench for the time being.

Ramirez is getting treatment from the team’s training staff; he missed Tuesday’s batting practice.

“His thumb is still sore,” manager Lou Piniella said. “He’ll be out till he’s ready to go.”

General manager Jim Hendry is optimistic Ramirez will be back in the lineup soon.

“He’s probably available to pinch hit [on Tuesday night] in an emergency,” Hendry said. “But he’ll probably need another day or two to be ready.”

The Cubs are not planning on a DL trip for Ramirez. Extensive examination ruled out any broken bones or tendon problems. However, the hand has been slow to respond to treatment from the Cubs training staff.

Speaking with a gauze wrap around his hand and thumb, Ramirez says his hand still hurts when he tries to swing the bat.

  • Hendry wasn’t sure how to react to the news that troubled Seattle outfielder Milton Bradley recently gave Hendry credit for helping him realize he needed to get his emotions in check.

    Bradley took Hendry’s quotes to heart when the GM said Bradley should look in the mirror for a reality check on where Bradley’s problems stem from.

    “I didn’t read it,” Henrdy said of Bradley’s recent comments. “However, every now and then in life, we have to check ourselves. I hope he gets straightened out, not only for his own sake, but for the Mariners. It’s never too late to get it together in life and get on track. It’s good to see he took it upon himself to realize he needed to improve and get better. I don’t take it as anything I did to get him going. I don’t really even have the exact quote to really comment.”

    Hendry traded the maligned Bradley for Carlos Silva last January.

    Bradley asked the Mariners to put him on the restricted list in early May. Before that, he was batting .222 with 2 home runs and 12 RBIs.