Notes: Cedeno may be out for season

Notes: Cedeno may be out for season

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs infielder Ronny Cedeno suffered a hairline fracture in the fifth metacarpal of his left hand when he was hit by a pitch and is likely done for the season.

Cedeno was hit by a fastball from San Francisco's Brad Hennessey on Saturday in the second inning. He stayed in the game, but had to leave after he was unable to handle a throw at second base.

"I didn't see the ball," Cedeno said Monday of Hennessey's pitch. "It was 91 mph, and I'm trying to stop my swing and the ball hit me in the hand.

"I was trying to stay in the game," he said. "I couldn't squeeze my hand -- it was very sore."

Cedeno was examined by a hand specialist on Monday in Chicago.

"I'm done for the season," Cedeno said.

Not according to Cubs manager Dusty Baker.

"Possibly. Not definitely," Baker said. "He's done for a couple weeks. If we get in the playoffs, he could be healed by then. We'll see.

"It's a bad blow," Baker said. "It seems like we've had to deal with a lot of injuries this year."

Cedeno expected to be able to play in winter ball in Venezuela, and will see action both at second and shortstop to prepare for next season. If all goes well, he could be in the Cubs' regular lineup.

"I need to play every day," he said about winter ball. "I need the experience for next year. I want to be here next year.

"It's very sad for me," Cedeno said of the injury. "I'm trying to help the team. I'm doing my best. It's something that happens in the game."

Cedeno hit .300 in 40 games with the Cubs and impressed Baker.

"He's got some skills, definitely," Baker said. "He's got great range, quickness. His bat has really improved over the last year and a half. Fundamental stuff? There's still a few things he needs to work on. He'll probably get a pretty good shot of that here."

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was expected to step up his rehab this week in hopes of returning before the Cubs' season ends. Ramirez has been sidelined since Aug. 25 with a strained left quad.

"There's progress," Baker said of Ramirez, who was batting .302 with 31 homers and 92 RBIs when injured. "He's going to try to push it a little bit this week to find out exactly where he is. Hopefully, he'll be on the field doing some fielding and throwing. He's doing some light running. The running part is the difficult part. He's working around the clock."

Roster moves: Infielder Ryan Theriot, the Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx Most Valuable Player in 2005, was promoted to the Cubs on Monday. A native of Baton Rouge, La., Theriot (TARE-ee-oh) batted .304 with 28 doubles and 53 RBIs for West Tenn. He's the third player in Diamond Jaxx history to hit .300 or better for an entire season.

Theriot no longer is a switch hitter, and has been focusing on batting right-handed this season.

"It was just something that needed to be done," he said.

He has played shortstop for the last six weeks.

"It doesn't matter [where I play] as long as I'm out there," he said.

His callup is bittersweet. The West Tenn team is tight, and Theriot didn't want to miss being in the playoffs. But he also didn't want to miss his first trip to the big leagues.

"It's a great group of guys, and we had a wonderful year," he said. "I wish them the best of luck, and wish I could be there. It makes it pretty sweet when you [can come up to the bigs]."

He can't go home just yet. His family in Baton Rouge has taken in some family from New Orleans who lost their homes and businesses because of Hurricane Katrina. Theriot was concerned about the city of Baton Rouge, which has nearly doubled in size because of evacuees.

He's familiar with Cubs second baseman Todd Walker, who played at Lousiana State.

"I watched him growing up," Theriot said of Walker.

History lesson: No matter whether Greg Maddux gets to 15 wins or not, he has joined Cy Young and Walter Johnson as the only pitchers in Major League history to record at least a dozen wins in 18 or more seasons. Young did so 19 times.

As far as consecutive seasons of at least 12 wins, Young leads the field with 19 years in a row, while Maddux is second with 18. Warren Spahn did so in 17 straight seasons while Eddie Plank did so 16 years in a row.

Gold rush: The Cubs finished a combined 9-2 in California this year, going 3-0 at Los Angeles, 3-1 at San Diego, and 3-1 at San Francisco. The two losses marked the fewest Cubs losses in a season in the Golden State since the Dodgers moved west in 1958. Previously, the fewest losses came in 1994 and 2003, when the Cubs were 6-3 for both trips.

The .818 winning percentage also is the highest for the Cubs in California since the Dodgers moved west in '58.

The Cubs' 8-2 road trip to Pittsburgh, St. Louis and San Francisco marked the first time the team has posted a winning percentage at .800 or above since Sept. 6-15, 1993, when they also went 8-2.

Good causes: On Thursday, the Cubs will join Major League Baseball in collecting donations on behalf of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. All proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross. Donations will be collected at all entrances to Wrigley Field prior to Thursday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Members of the Cubs organization, including players, players' wives, coaches, front office staff and former players will be stationed at the gates to collect contributions.

For a minimum donation of $5, fans will receive an "I Pitched In -- Hurricane Relief" button as a thank you from the Cubs.

On Saturday, the Cubs' wives and Bank of America will host a food drive at Wrigley Field to benefit the Lakeview Pantry and Cubs Care. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. CT until the third inning, next to the Harry Caray statue on Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street.

Fans making either a donation of 10 non-perishable food items or $20 will receive a 5x7 autographed photo of a Cubs player or coach.

Also on Saturday, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg will sign autographs from 5-7 p.m. CT at Harry Caray's restaurant in downtown Chicago, 33 W. Kinzie Street. For $30, he will autograph an official Ryne Sandberg Hall of Fame commemorative plaque card. The money will be donated to the American Red Cross to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Minor matters: The Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx will play Jacksonville in the Southern League Championship best-of-five series, starting Tuesday in Jacksonville. The Diamond Jaxx swept Carolina in the first round, 3-0.

Supreme matters: U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will throw out the first pitch on Wednesday. It is believed to be the first time a U.S. Supreme Court Justice has done so at a Major League game.

Supreme Court justices once frequently attended Opening Day in Washington D.C., most often sharing a box with the president. The president usually got to throw out the first pitch.

Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes attended a Cubs-Giants game at Wrigley Field on Aug. 22, 1930. According to research by baseball historian Ed Hartig, Hughes did attend several banquets as well as the game, but did not throw out a first pitch.

On deck: Carlos Zambrano (13-5, 3.18 ERA) faces Eric Milton (7-14, 6.63 ERA) in Game 2 of this three-game series Tuesday night. Zambrano is 7-1 with a 2.24 ERA since the All-Star break.

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