PHOENIX - It doesn't look like Kerry Wood will be ready to return at least for a few days, perhaps up to a week, and it looks more likely that the Cubs closer will have to go on the disabled list, as early as today.
If that happens, the Cubs may call up right-hander Jeff Samardzija from Class AAA Iowa to fill a bullpen spot.
First things first.
Wood will see another doctor in Chicago today to see why the blister on his right index finger hasn't healed by now. Wood has not pitched since July 11, and he was walking around the clubhouse Wednesday with a small bandage on the finger. Manager Lou Piniella said Wood was going to throw some change-ups on the side to keep his arm in shape.
"What's amazing is he still has the pain," Piniella said. "He's not capable of throwing a bullpen, where he throws his fastball, he throws his slider. I think that would set him totally backward. But he can throw his changeup because there's no pressure.
"It's a concern," Piniella added. "Let's not understate the issue. The reason it's a concern is that there's no timetable with this thing now."
Samardzija is an intriguing case. The former football star from Notre Dame started the season at Class AA Tennessee, where he has mixed results, going 3-5 with a 4.86 ERA. But since being promoted to a starter at Iowa, he's gone 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 16 walks in 37 innings.
"It's conceivable," said assistant general manager Randy Bush. "He's put himself on the radar."
MRI for Edmonds: Center fielder Jim Edmonds will have an MRI on his left knee in Chicago today. Lou Piniella said Edmonds had trouble pushing off the knee while batting Tuesday.
Roster moves: In addition to activating left fielder Alfonso Soriano off the DL, the Cubs activated lefty reliever Scott Eyre. To make room, they sent infielder-outfielder Micah Hoffpauir and right-handed reliever Kevin Hart to Class AAA Iowa.
Hart will start for Iowa. Lou Piniella stopped short of saying he was disappointed in Hart after a rough outing Tuesday.
"It's a mystery because, basically, he's got good stuff," Piniella said. "He throws a lot of pitches. He's just got to figure it out. He's got the stuff to do it. If he pitches well, he can help us later on in the summer."