Notes: Miller to make appearance

Notes: Miller to make appearance

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs staff will finally get to see Wade Miller in person.

The pitcher, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in late September, has been rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz., with the Cubs' rookies in extended Spring Training. Miller will be in Chicago this week with the big-league team and was to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday.

"Sometimes you can get stagnant down there in Arizona," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He told me it was 115 [degrees]. I think he needs [to be with the big-league team] as much as we need to see him. He needs to feel he's part of the team. You're down there by yourself with all the rookie league guys. You need a shot of motivation."

Miller battled tendinitis in his shoulder, which set him back, but said Tuesday he's feeling better.

"It was just barking a little bit, so the best thing to do was shut it down," Miller said.

In his last outing, Miller threw 45 pitches, but he isn't quite ready for a Minor League rehab assignment.

"They said it's going to take a while and that this year is going to be tough and next year will be better," Miller said.

And yes, he's talked to Kerry Wood about the slow timetable and rehab. Wood had the same procedure done in late August and is currently on the disabled list because of stiffness in his shoulder. Wood will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday.

Miller, 29, whom the Cubs signed to a Minor League contract in January, said he expects to be pitching in the big leagues this season. When?

"I'll let you know," he said.

Aches and pains: Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee had an X-ray taken on Tuesday of his right wrist to gauge the progress. The medical staff was to meet on Tuesday to come up with a game plan for the next phase in Lee's rehab, athletic trainer Mark O'Neal said.

Lee fractured his wrist April 19 and had the cast removed May 31. He did not swing a bat on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, outfielder Angel Pagan, sidelined with a torn hamstring since mid-April, has been cleared for all activity, O'Neal said. Pagan could be playing in Minor League games by early next week.

Reliever Scott Williamson, on the disabled list with discomfort in his right elbow, threw his third bullpen session on Tuesday and could begin a rehab assignment this weekend, O'Neal said.

Gold and blue: Notre Dame baseball coach Paul Mainieri said he wouldn't be surprised if Jeff Samardzija was able to play both baseball and football and be successful at both sports. Mainieri, who was at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, said Samardzija, who was the Cubs' fifth-round pick in last week's First-Year Player Draft, would've likely gone higher in the draft but teams knew how much he wanted to play football.

"The Cubs are getting a first-round talent with a fifth-round pick," Mainieri said.

The right-hander showed up at Notre Dame's baseball practice a little rough, and able to throw 87-88 mph. Now, he's learned how to throw a slider and change, and was clocked at the Big East tournament at 98-99 mph.

Mainieri and Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis talked about the young talent during a ride to Wrigley Field.

"I said, 'Charlie, I don't know how you define 'it' but this kid has 'it,''" Mainieri said.

Samardzija could sign with the Cubs this week and begin playing Minor League baseball. He planned on returning to Notre Dame the first week in August for football practice and will be eligible for the NFL draft in spring 2007.

All-Star votes: This is the last week for in-stadium balloting at Wrigley Field, so if fans want to vote for their favorite Cubs player, now's the time. The 77th All-Star Game will be played July 11 at Pittsburgh's PNC Park. You can also vote online at

No. 1 pick: Tyler Colvin, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in this year's draft, will lead Clemson into the College World Series on Friday against Georgia Tech. Colvin was 4-for-9 in two games in the Super Regional, including a walk-off grand slam in a win over Oral Roberts. The double-elimination CWS begins Friday in Omaha, Neb. Clemson (52-14) is the No. 1 seed.

And who's on Georgia Tech? Cubs outfielder Matt Murton's brother Luke. Matt played in the College World Series his sophomore year at Georgia Tech, the second time the school reached Omaha. Did big brother give his younger brother some advice?

"Just go out and have fun and enjoy it," Matt said. "The biggest thing is enjoy the experience."

Back in the saddle: Ron Santo was back in the WGN Radio booth on Tuesday night after taking one week to rest from a bout with pnemonia. Santo will miss the trip to Washington and New York in July. He did watch the Cubs games but admitted he had to turn off some of the close contests.

"It's good to be back," Santo said.

Extra bases: Greg Maddux will start on Wednesday and stay on his normal five days' rest, while Glendon Rusch will be skipped one turn, Baker said. Rusch was available in the bullpen. ... Baker is an avid motorcycle rider, although he didn't get his bike until he was 50. His father wouldn't let him ride one earlier. Ben Roethlisberger's injury after a motorcycle crash brought home an important message, Baker said. "I've always had some players who I've had to urge to ride their bikes when they're through playing so they don't jeopardize their career or the team," Baker said. "What you urge and what you get are two different things." Baker said he "tries to wear a helmet" when he rides. ... Ronny Cedeno batted eighth rather than second on Tuesday. Cedeno was hitting .250 (23-for-92) in the No. 2 spot, and .356 (32-for-90) in the eighth spot.

Minor matters: Les Walrond gave up 13 runs on 13 hits over 3 2/3 innings in Iowa's 15-6 loss to New Orleans. Micah Hoffpauir hit a two-run homer, and Mike Fontenot added a solo shot and was 2-for-5. This was Fontenot's 17th multi-hit game of the year. ... West Tenn had Monday off. ... Daytona's game against Jupiter was postponed because of rain. ... Todd Blackford threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up four hits and walked two in Peoria's 1-0 win over Clinton. Robinson Chirinos had two hits, including his 18th double. Mark Reed drove in Davy Gregg for the Chiefs' only run.

On deck: Maddux will start on Wednesday. He is 26-12 in his career against Houston. The game will be broadcast on WGN Radio and WGN TV.

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