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Cubs may activate Eyre on Saturday
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/7/2008 4:40 PM | Updated: 5/7/2008 9:29 PM

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CINCINNATI -- Scratch that idea of the Cubs carrying 13 pitchers when Scott Eyre returns later this week.

Eyre threw 1 inning Tuesday night for Class AAA Iowa, and the Cubs planned to give him another inning Wednesday. If things turn out OK, the Cubs will give Eyre two days off and activate him Saturday, when the Arizona Diamondbacks are at Wrigley Field.

Lefty Eyre has been on the disabled list since late March because of a bone spur in his pitching elbow.

Manager Lou Piniella, during one of his thinking-out-loud sessions Monday, said the Cubs could carry 13 pitchers when Eyre returns.

But general manager Jim Hendry all but shot down that idea Wednesday.

"We'll kick it around Friday because we won't activate him until Saturday," Hendry said. "I would doubt that we will."

Soriano sits: Lou Piniella didn't start left fielder Alfonso Soriano on Wednesday. Soriano had started six straight games since coming off the DL because of a strained right calf.

He went 6-for-27 with a homer and 5 RBI in his first six games off the DL. He singled and doubled in his final 2 at-bats Tuesday. He pinch hit in Wednesday's 9-0 loss to the Reds and ended the game by grounding into a forceout.

Jim Hendry said he sees no reason Soriano can't continue batting leadoff.

"When things don't go right or somebody has a bad batting average for the first couple weeks or low on-base percentage, that's the flavor of the month to talk about that," Hendry said. "Last night he started to swing the bat well. Some guys are slow starters. He's one of them. There's no reason to believe that he won't continue to get better and better.

"Once he starts hitting like that, he usually doesn't regress. I thought his bat speed was outstanding last night. He hit three balls right on the button. Lou's going to write the lineup, but I have no problem with him hitting (first).

"And (Soriano) seems to be running better. I think the next couple of weeks, when he gets a little more confidence in the leg being 100 percent, he'll run even better."

Minor matters: The Cubs activated infielder Eric Patterson (hamstring) Tuesday at Class AAA Iowa. They planned to activate first baseman-outfielder Micah Hoffpauir (oblique) Wednesday. Both could see big-league action later this season. Patterson has been up once already.

First baseman-outfielder Jake Fox has heated up at Iowa, but the Cubs will send him to Class AA Tennessee so he can get more at-bats, with Hoffpauir and Patterson coming off Iowa's DL.