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Zambrano's MRI same as one in 2006
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/10/2009 9:53 PM

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The Cubs got a mixed bag of injury news Monday.

Manager Lou Piniella told the media in Denver that results of the MRI taken on pitcher Carlos Zambrano's back showed no change from an MRI taken in 2006 and that Zambrano had an epidural injection to his lower back Sunday.

"If there's any inflammation there at all, that should take care of it," Piniella said on his WGN radio pregame show. Zambrano is on the disabled list because of lower-back spasms.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was a lineup scratch again because of soreness in his left shoulder, which he dislocated in May, forcing him out for two months.

"As far as Ramirez is concerned - he wasn't available (Sunday) and he won't be available (Monday). He'll see the team doctor (Tuesday), and we'll see where that goes from there," Piniella said.

"It's a little bit of a downer. We get to this point, and sooner or later, you think to yourself, 'We're going to get healthy.' And it just hasn't happened.

"We've had trouble staying healthy. Every day it seems like something else. I don't want to sound negative, but I am realistic. We've got two of our five starting pitchers on the DL. We got Ramirez, basically, not on the DL but on the DL. We've got (center fielder) Reed Johnson (on the DL)."

Roster move: The Cubs optioned reliever Jeff Stevens to Class AAA Iowa on Monday and selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Esmailin Caridad from Iowa.

In 23 starts at Iowa, Caridad was 5-10 with a 4.15 ERA.

"You don't like to see all this activity, but at the same time, it's good to see as many young pitchers as you can so you really have a good idea of what your September call-ups are going to be and what you have for later on, whether it be the end of this year or next year," Lou Piniella told WGN radio.

"It's not a bad idea. We had him (Caridad) in spring training, and he threw the ball well.