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Ramirez joins list of hurting Cubs
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Kosuke Fukudome breaks his bat on a pitch by the Colorado Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez on Monday at Wrigley Field.


Associated Press

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Published: 4/13/2009 9:53 PM | Updated: 4/13/2009 9:54 PM

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Add third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs' list of walking wounded.

Ramirez was a lineup scratch Monday, joining catcher Geovany Soto and right fielder Milton Bradley as starters out of action. Ramirez has a sore back, and he said he's been nursing it for a while.

"I played like that yesterday," he said of Sunday's series finale in Milwaukee. "I couldn't go today, with the kind of weather we've got. I've been like that for a while, but I was fine. Yesterday, (it) was real sore. I had that the whole spring training. It wasn't bad. It was there."

The Cubs have an off-day today, and that should help catcher Geovany Soto (shoulder) return to the lineup Wednesday.

Right fielder Milton Bradley, who strained his right groin Sunday, looks to be out 3-5 days, according to manager Lou Piniella.

Gregg goes again: Closer Kevin Gregg finished Monday's game in a non-save situation, just as he did Sunday in Milwaukee. Lou Piniella said he has to be careful in how he uses Gregg, who came off surgery to his left knee in the off-season.

Piniella raised a few eyebrows Saturday, letting Carlos Marmol close, but he reiterated that Gregg is his closer.

"It's four months from a pretty major knee surgery," Gregg said. "It wasn't reconstructive or anything, but it was a pretty major one. They cut it open - not arthroscopic or anything like that. Coming out here the first part of spring training was a battle to understand the ins and outs of my knee, how it was going to react the first time being out on the mound ... and now the intensity of the regular season."

Remembering The Bird: Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell was saddened to hear about the death of former Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych." Fidrych became a national sensation in 1976 with his colorful antics on the mound. Injuries cut short his career.

Trammell came up with the Tigers in 1977.

"There was no act to Mark Fidrych," Trammell said. "It was just him. It was his personality, a lot of energy, kind of hyper, to be honest with you... He was very genuine."

Trammell also lamented the death of Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas.

"I tell you what, Harry Kalas today, it's been a tough week for the baseball world," Trammell said.