Notes: Streak sparks playoff talk

Notes: Streak sparks playoff talk

CHICAGO -- Outfielder Adam Greenberg's headaches have gone away but he's still woozy, so the Chicago Cubs decided to place him on the disabled list on Friday, retroactive to July 10, and called up Ben Grieve from Triple-A Iowa.

Greenberg suffered a concussion when he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning on July 9 in Miami. It was the first pitch he saw in his first Major League at-bat, something he'll never forget. He had been called up from Double-A West Tenn the day before.

"It's been a whirlwind [week] and just excitement overall," Greenberg said. "For one, this team has won four in a row since I got here. I don't know how it was before, but it's all playoff talk. We had a meeting [Thursday] with Dusty [Baker, Cubs manager] and he said, 'Let's make a push, let's open everyone's eyes and be that team.'

"It's unfortunate what happened to me," he said, "but it's a lot easier to deal with what's going on around us, which is winning."

Grieve was batting .250 with 12 homers and 29 RBIs in 48 games for Iowa. This is his second stint with the Cubs.

"[Greenberg] is still feeling some effects of getting hit," Baker said. "It's a very serious thing. He's still feeling a little woozy. We can't operate short."

The young outfielder has taken the incident in stride.

"You never want to go on the [disabled list] and you get the opportunity of a lifetime to be in the Major Leagues and you don't want to start your career off on the DL but there are some things that are beyond your control," he said. "You have to roll with it and make the most of it. As long as I'm around this team, I'll just keep a positive outlook on things."

Greenberg cannot take batting practice or run, but is being told to rest.

"Every day I've progressed in a positive way and they're taking a precautionary approach," he said. "As a person, it makes me feel good that they don't want to put me in a bad situation. As a ballplayer, I don't want to go out and hurt the team if I'm not 100 percent."

Because Greenberg is still having some problems with his equilibrium, he's not ready to step back into the batter's box.

"He has to get that feeling back, that fearlessness back," Baker said. "The longer it passes, the less you remember. But the main thing is, what if he's running or gets hit in the head again or kicked in a double play? A lot of things can happen, and it'd be terrible to see him hurt again. The first thing is he has to get well."

Greenberg was the backup center fielder but Baker said Jose Macias, Todd Hollandsworth or Jeromy Burnitz could play there.

Aches and pains: Cubs catcher Michael Barrett is nursing a sore left hip which he jammed into second base on a slide in the fourth inning of the July 9 game against Florida.

Barrett was on first after a walk and Burnitz hit a line drive to Marlins first baseman Carlos Delgado, who threw to second. Barrett said he made a "panic slide" and hit the bag hard and jammed his leg. He stayed in the game.

"It's not something I can't play with, but it might hinder me from running as hard as I can," Barrett said Friday. "Other than that, as far as catching and hitting goes, I'm OK."

He did play on Sunday, then went home during the All-Star break to Atlanta and rested. But his hip became stiff and painful. He was examined Thursday in Chicago, and the doctors told him all the symptoms were normal.

"Today was a great day, and I expect I'll be fine," Barrett said. "I thought it would be wise at this point to be more cautious than anything else."

He's also had to deal with a sore shoulder, which seems to be the target of foul balls.

"I've gotten hit with five foul balls," he said. "I've been working with the catching company to develop some more padding in the shoulder area. I took the hardest one all year when [Kerry Wood] was pitching [on July 9]."

"We're at that time of year where you're going to have these things," Barrett said. "It's good we have a guy like Henry [Blanco] who can do a good job for us. I'll be ready whenever they need me.

Minor matters: Corey Patterson hit a solo home run in his first game with Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, a 7-4 victory over Omaha. Patterson batted second for the Iowa Cubs.

Jason Dubois, who also was sent down to the Minor Leagues on July 7 with Patterson, went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and scored two runs. Todd Wellemeyer threw six scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out five for the win. Catcher Geovany Soto had two hits and one RBI.

Chris Walker was 2-for-5, hitting two triples, in Class A Daytona's 7-6 loss to Tampa. Anderson Tavares gave up four runs on five hits and one walk over 4 1/3 innings.

Ryan Harvey hit a home run in Class A Peoria's 5-4 loss to Burlington. Matt Weber gave up four runs on 10 hits over six innings. Chris Gaskin was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in Boise's 11-inning loss, 5-3, to Tri-City.

Mark Pawelek, the Cubs' No. 1 draft pick this year, threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in the Mesa Cubs' 1-0 loss to the Giants. The lefty struck out five.

Making adjustments: In 10 starts, Glendon Rusch was 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA. Since going back to the bullpen, the left-hander has scuffled.

In five relief appearances, he's given up eight runs on 11 hits over four innings. Part of the problem is simply the inconsistent work.

"That's something I have to do a little more which is throw a little before the game to stay sharp," Rusch said. "The last few times I've come in and it's taken me a hitter or two to get to where I want to be and I've given up runs right away."

Making adjustments, Part II: Mark Prior says he doesn't favor one catcher over another but the numbers show he should stick with Blanco. Prior is 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA with Blanco behind the plate, and 1-1 with a 4.68 ERA with Barrett.

"I just show up every day and find out who the catcher is and we go to work," Prior said. "Michael and Henry work well together. It's not just the guy behind the plate that day. Mike and Henry are always talking. It's a group effort. We want them to do well and they want us to do well as a staff."

New kid in town: Matt Murton appreciated the reception he got when he took left field on Thursday, his first game in Wrigley Field. Murton was called up July 8 from Double-A West Tenn along with Greenberg and made his first start in Chicago.

"That was really nice of them," Murton said of the fans, who cheered as he took his place in the first inning. "There was somebody out there who had a sign that said, 'Welcome to Wrigley,' and stuff like that is cool. The fans were good to me. For me, it was a good experience to get my first opportunity to play at Wrigley.

"There were some nerves because it's Wrigley Field and it's the big scene here," Murton said about his Chicago debut. "I tried to settle myself down the best I can. Hopefully it's one game behind me and I can get it rolling."

Murton did not start on Friday against right-hander Josh Fogg, but could be back in the lineup on Saturday against lefty Zach Duke.

"Todd's a great player and a veteran guy who's proven he can play at this level," Murton said. "For me, it's more about just doing what I can to help the team win. I have to go back to work and make sure I continue to get better in every aspect of the game."

Shop talk: Baker was asked if there were needs the Cubs should address as the trade deadline approaches.

"I can't say that," Baker said. "It'd be like me asking you what does your company need, a cameraman or a reporter? That's a good question, but a question I can't answer. I have to go out and tell these guys to give us all you've got. We talk about that in private."

The Cubs are encouraged that shortstop Nomar Garciaparra will return in August and pitcher Scott Williamson could be back late next month as well.

"We've got reinforcements," Baker said. "We just don't know when they'll show up."

On deck: Greg Maddux will start Saturday in Game 3 of this four-game series against the Pirates. Maddux will be vying for career win No. 314. His opponent, Zach Duke, will be making his third big league start.

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