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Left-handed bat only Cubs' need
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/30/2008 12:05 AM

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MILWAUKEE - The nonwaiver trading deadline comes up Thursday afternoon, and if the Cubs do anything at all, it probably will be a for a hitter to come off the bench, preferably left-handed.

In other words, the Cubs are not in the market for a left-handed reliever, such as Colorado's Brian Fuentes or Baltimore's George Sherrill.

Cubs people say that if a left-handed bat becomes available - and that's a big if at this point - that's probably a more realistic option.

General manager Jim Hendry is back in Chicago and working the phones, but he seems happy with the team as it stands. Hendry pulled off a major deal earlier this month when he picked up starting pitcher Rich Harden and reliever Chad Gaudin from Oakland. Both have pitched effectively.

Field manager Lou Piniella wanted little to do with the subject Tuesday.

"You can talk to Jim Hendry about that," Piniella said. "That's his area. I've said I like my team. If you can improve it, why not?"

Piniella said that closer Kerry Wood being on the disabled list has "nothing to do" with what the Cubs are looking for. But they may be seeking a lefty bat because veteran Daryle Ward entered Tuesday just 4-for-34 as a pinch hitter. But Piniella wouldn't even discuss what areas of help the Cubs may be seeking.

"I'm not even going to talk about it," he said. "I said talk to Jim Hendry about that. But I am saying that if we can improve our ballclub, why not?"

Edmonds sits: With righty Ben Sheets pitching for the Brewers on Tuesday, it seemed Jim Edmonds might get a start in center field.

Instead, Lou Piniella moved Kosuke Fukudome from right to center and played Mark DeRosa in right. Edmonds has been battling a sore left knee.

"He told me he could play today," Piniella said. "I'm going to see him take some batting practice. The trainer thought that another day would do him good. To his (Edmonds') credit, he came into my office and said he wants to play."

Minor matters: Center fielder Felix Pie has heated up at Class AAA Iowa.

Pie went 3-for-6 Monday with a double and 2 RBI. He entered Tuesday 10-for-17 with 2 walks, 2 doubles, a triple, 4 runs scored and 3 RBI in his last four games.

Jake Fox has 6 homers in eight games at Tennessee.