Cubs notebook, including Dempster, DeRosa sidelined, updates on Neal Cotts and Kerry Wood.
When the Cubs played in Texas last week, there were rumors outfielder Jacque Jones would be traded to the Rangers.
With the Cubs playing at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend, there are rumors he could be traded to the White Sox.
So what happens when the Cubs host Colorado come Monday at Wrigley Field?
“Maybe I’ll be rumored to be traded to the Cubs,” Jones joked.
Jones reportedly has been on the trading block since the offseason. But thus far, there have been no takers for Jones, who is in the second year of a three-year, $16 million deal.
Not only is Jones hearing rumor after rumor on an almost daily basis, but his playing time has been severely reduced. He has two homers and 20 RBI in just 201 at-bats.
“I can’t tell you whether I’ll be traded or not,” Jones said. “You never know what can happen in this game. No one wrote that Michael Barrett was going to get traded, and he got traded (on Wednesday). It seems like eight or nine times out of 10, when there’s talk of a trade, it doesn’t happen.
“You just be ready no matter what.”
Jones played for Minnesota from 1999-2005. During his first season with the Cubs last year, he had some troubles with fans at Wrigley Field. He was booed and said some fans yelled racial insults and threw objects at him while he was in right field.
After all of that and all of the strife this season, is he sorry he came to Chicago?
“That’s not even up for discussion,” Jones said. “Minnesota is in the past. I’m not going to make any comparisons. I’m in Chicago now.”
Dempster, DeRosa sidelined
Cubs closer Ryan Dempster, who strained his left oblique muscle Friday, was not available to pitch Saturday and said he wouldn’t be available today.
Bob Howry closed Saturday’s game, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth to get the save in the Cubs’ 2-1 win. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Howry will close until Dempster returns.
“We’ll treat it and hope we make progress,” Dempster said. “I don’t know if it’s a disabled list type of injury, but I hope not.”
Mark DeRosa was scratched from the lineup because he wasn’t feeling right. Wednesday night in Texas, he left the game in the second inning because he had a headache and blurry vision in his left eye.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know what it is,” DeRosa said. “I guess some symptoms pertaining to that. I just don’t feel myself the whole last two or three days. I just feel like I’m just going through all the motions on auto pilot, kind of in a fog. Maybe it’s all the stuff I’ve been on, whether it is anti-inflammatories or pain relievers for my hand. It’s tough to explain.
“It’s a bad way to describe it, but I feel like I’ve had a three-day hangover. You just kind of feel sluggish and lethargic. It’s the only way I can really describe it.”
Struggling Cotts to return?
After the Cubs-Sox series in May, Cubs reliever Neal Cotts was demoted to Triple-A Iowa and was to be stretched out as a starter.
After the current Cubs-Sox series ends today, will Cotts be back up as a reliever?
The Cubs figure to add a pitcher after this series, and Piniella said Cotts was “a possibility” even though the left-hander is 0-1 with a 7.33 ERA in six appearances for Iowa. He also has issued 15 walks in 23 1/3 innings.
Wood still grounded
Kerry Wood (shoulder injury), who visited the club again, is still allowed only to play catch rather than throw off a mound. There is no timetable for him to throw from a hill.
“We would love to have him back,” Piniella said. “This kid is trying everything humanly possible to try to get himself back on the playing field. Let’s hope it works out for him. He’s a good kid - he really is.”
Pignatiello holds on
Former Providence Catholic High School star Carmen Pignatiello earned his seventh hold of the season in Iowa’s 4-2 win over Nashville on Friday. He has a 2.59 ERA in 23 appearances.
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