Ortiz likely to get shot on Tuesday

July, 1, 2011
Levine By Bruce Levine
Ramon OrtizStephen Dunn/Getty ImagesFormer Dodgers pitcher Ramon Ortiz is likely to get a shot for the Cubs on Tuesday.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who has pitched through back injuries before, tried to do it again as he did his best to try to talk general manager Jim Hendry out of putting him on the disabled list.

But it didn't work.

"He said to me, 'I can pitch,'" Hendry said. "He said, 'I know I'm going to miss Tuesday, but I can pitch Thursday or Friday,' which he could. But if that wasn't 100 percent, and the doctors told me they couldn't guarantee that, then we decided to wait.

"They told me he'd be perfect after the break. At that point, it wasn't really a tough decision."

What do the Cubs do next? It appears veteran Ramon Ortiz will get a shot to pitch on Tuesday.

"We'll probably regroup after [Friday's] game, " Hendry said. " I would think Ramon Ortiz has a good shot at starting on Tuesday."

Ortiz is supposed to pitch for Triple-A Iowa on Friday night. If the Cubs decide to call him up on Tuesday, they will limit his pitch count on Friday.

Zambrano was the fourth Cubs starter to go on the DL this season. Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells went on the list on April 8. Wells missed seven weeks with a right forearm strain. Cashner re-injured his rotator cuff during his rehab and has yet to throw a minor league pitch since. Matt Garza was on the DL for two weeks with a sore elbow in late May.

As for Ortiz,38, he takes a 6-3 record and 4.44 ERA into his Friday start. The Cubs signed him in April.

Ortiz will make a prorated amount of the $900,000 major league contract he signed. The Cubs won't have to make a move on the 40-man roster due to the fact they have one spot.

Hendry also said Friday that rehabbing outfielder Marlon Byrd may return to the team and play this weekend against the Chicago White Sox. Hendry said he'll talk to Byrd after he plays for Iowa on Friday.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.



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ERAT. Wood 5.03
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