Talk hasn't turned serious yet about the Cubs holding a players meeting, but that could change if the inconsistent play continues.
"If we play like we've played right now, at some point this week or next week, we got to have a meeting because what I see is not good," said left fielder Alfonso Soriano, who all of a sudden has stepped up vocally. "We're supposed to play better than what we're playing like right now."
The Cubs came off a 2-4 road trip, with the finale being a 10-0 pasting at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks. That dropped the Cubs to 10-10. In 9 of the 10 losses, the Cubs scored 3 or fewer runs.
The Cubs got off to a worse start in 2007, and they held a team meeting near the end of May. After a few personnel moves, the Cubs regrouped and won the NL Central.
Manager Lou Piniella had a different view of a meeting before Thursday night's game with the Marlins.
"Look, when you're 12th in the league in hitting, 12th in the league in pitching, 10th in the league in defense, until those numbers get better, you can have all the meetings you want," Piniella said, laughing. "We can send them to a spa. We've got to get those numbers better, and we will."
Ramirez better: Just in case third baseman Aramis Ramirez had to go on the disabled list because of his strained left calf, the Cubs brought infielder Bobby Scales to Wrigley Field.
Ramirez had an MRI Thursday, and it showed only inflammation. He tested the leg by doing drills on the outfield grass. The result was that he might be able to play in the next couple of days.
"He went through a fairly extensive array of stretching and running exercises, and he's much better than he was in Phoenix two days ago," Lou Piniella said. "The feeling is, in the next few days, we can get him out there to play."
Although Scales was sent back to Iowa, Piniella did talk of another possible roster move, but the Cubs said none was forthcoming.
Backstop banter: Koyie Hill started behind the plate in place of Geovany Soto, who entered Thursday batting .111 after a 2-for-16 road trip.
"We need for him to start hitting," Lou Piniella said of Soto. "Two schools of thought: Play your way through it or give a younger player a mental breather from time to time, and I think that's the avenue we're going to chose."
Soto's right shoulder bothered him earlier in April, and Piniella said Soto has not complained about his left hand hurting. He had a problem with the hand in September, and it looked like it might be bothering him again.