Notes: Wood fine after brief start

Notes: Wood fine after brief start

CHICAGO -- Kerry Wood had no lingering side effects in his right shoulder on Monday, and will likely make his next start for the Chicago Cubs.

Wood threw 76 pitches over five innings on Sunday against Pittsburgh and picked up the win, but was pulled from the game because of what he described as "crankiness" in his right shoulder. Wood was sidelined this spring with bursitis in the same shoulder.

"He said he's feeling pretty good," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said of Wood.

If the Cubs stay in order in the rotation, Wood's next start would be Saturday in Houston, where it will be much warmer. However, with Thursday's off day, the Cubs could flip-flop Mark Prior, who started Monday, and give Wood an extra day.

"I can't say for sure or not," Baker said about Wood starting on Saturday. "We do have an off day, and we'll reassess things in the next couple days."

Cubs athletic trainer Mark O'Neal said Wood did his normal day-after-a-start exercises on Monday. O'Neal said the combination of the cold weather and "cranky" feeling prompted the Cubs to pull Wood.

"Having to shut him down this spring, we're just being extremely cautious with him," O'Neal said.

"He's still in Spring Training actually," Baker said of Wood. "There's a bunch of guys who have this at the end of Spring Training. We don't want him to pitch through it. We want him to be 100 percent. He said he feels good today, and that's Step 1."

Carlos Zambrano, who left his last start one out away from a complete game, also was given the go-ahead for his start on Tuesday against Cincinnati. Zambrano had a blister on his right index finger but that has healed, O'Neal said.

Aches and pains: Center fielder Corey Patterson was scratched from Monday's starting lineup because of the stomach flu. His status was day-to-day.

Nomar Garciaparra was examined by another doctor on Monday, and is still considering his options regarding the ruptured tendon in his groin. Garciaparra was injured last Wednesday in St. Louis.

Baker was asked if the Cubs were trying to replace Garciaparra's bat in the lineup.

"That's a tough bat to replace," Baker said. "It's hard to find a guy who hit .370 with a .322 career average. We're trying to win every game we have with the personnel we have. Jim [Hendry, Cubs general manager] is exploring things, but right now we can't wait on that to happen."

Meanwhile, second baseman Todd Walker is continuing his rehab from a sprained left knee, injured April 10. Walker has been able to ride a stationary bike, but said it takes time for him to get loose. He needs to strengthen the ligaments on the outside of his knee for better stability.

"If I could strap on a two-by-four on the inside of my leg, I'd be playing," Walker said.

Step by step: Joe Borowski threw 45 pitches in the bullpen on Monday and will throw a simulated game on Wednesday.

"Everything's coming along and I haven't had any setbacks," Borowski said.

The Cubs will make a decision on the next phase of his rehab after Wednesday's outing.

"He's feeling pretty good and Larry [Rothschild, pitching coach] said he threw the ball well," Baker said. "He's only thrown a few sliders and Joe said he didn't feel anything."

The good news is that Borowski feels no discomfort at all in his right wrist, which he injured March 21. His shoulder also is strong.

"I've almost forgotten about that," he said about the slight tear in his rotator cuff that sidelined him last season.

"If he's optimistic, feeling good, then we are," Baker said.

   Michael Barrett  /   C
Born: 10/22/76
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 210 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

Switch 'em up: Michael Barrett batted sixth in the lineup for the first time this year. "I just thought that was the best lineup for the day," said Baker, who wants a right-hander between lefties Jeromy Burnitz and Todd Hollandsworth.

Barrett is batting .167, but Baker isn't worried.

"Nobody likes to not hit the way they're capable of hitting," Baker said, "but we know Michael can hit."

What has been encouraging is Barrett's defensive play.

"He's worked on it," Baker said, crediting coach Juan Lopez with helping Barrett on his footwork, arm angle and blocking balls. "I just hope the concentration as a catcher doesn't take away from his offense. That catching position is very tough and you have to have that transition game from offense to defense."

Mr. Zero: Prior entered Monday's game having not allowed an earned run in his two previous starts. Steve Stone is the only Cubs pitcher since 1969 who has not allowed an earned run through his first three starts of the season. Stone's first three starts in 1976 came on April 25, July 2 and July 6.

Stone's start April 25, against the Dodgers, lasted only 1 2/3 innings, and was followed by a 10-week stint on the disabled list. He returned to throw four innings (one unearned run) against the Mets on July 2 and went six scoreless innings against the Padres on July 6. His stat line for the three starts: 11 2/3 innings, one run, zero earned.

Before Prior, the last Cubs pitcher to not allow an earned run through his first two starts was Jose Guzman in 1993. Guzman threw a one-hit complete-game shutout against the Braves on April 6 at Wrigley Field. On April 11, he allowed two unearned runs in 6 1/3 innings at Philadelphia.

Turn on the lights: Monday night marks the 18th regular season of night baseball at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are 149-135 under the lights in the regular season.

Prior is starting his 11th night game at Wrigley. The Cubs are 6-4 in his previous 10 starts. Steve Trachsel has started 22 night games at Wrigley as a Cub -- most among Cubs pitchers. Greg Maddux is second with 20.

Minor matters: Russ Rohlicek earned his first win of the season in relief as the Triple-A Iowa Cubs beat Nashville, 5-2, Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader. Mike Fontenot was 2-for-3 with a double and scored two runs. ... In the second game, Sergio Mitre gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk over 4 2/3 innings. David Kelton went 2-for-4 with an RBI. ... Ricky Nolasco gave up one run on four hits over seven innings and struck out seven for Double-A West Tenn in a 2-1 victory over Huntsville. Brandon Sing went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles. ... Pitcher Luke Hagerty is in extended Spring Training in Mesa, Ariz., and is scheduled to throw 50-60 pitches on Thursday. Hagerty has a strained finger. Meanwhile, Angel Guzman has been shut down to give his right forearm time to heal.

On deck: Zambrano will start Game 2 of this three-game series on Tuesday night. Zambrano is 5-3 with a 1.49 ERA in his career against the Reds. Ryan Dempster will close the series on Wednesday.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.