Hendry operating at own pace

Hendry operating at own pace

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry repeated on Wednesday that he's operating at his own pace regarding manager Dusty Baker's job status, and reiterated that he never set the All-Star break as a deadline to make a decision.

"My time frame has never changed," Hendry said on Wednesday. "I'll operate on the pace that I feel is appropriate. There was never any indication from Jim Hendry that a decision will be made at the All-Star break."

Baker's job status had been in question because of the Cubs' poor start, and Hendry had said that he planned on evaluating the team and staff at the All-Star break. This is the last year of Baker's four-year contract with the Cubs.

The Cubs are 34-54 at the break, and 14 1/2 games back in the National League Central. Injuries to Kerry Wood and Mark Prior have forced the Cubs to rely on rookie pitchers, and the offense sputtered while Derrek Lee missed two months with a fractured right wrist.

The Cubs, riding a three-game winning streak, will open the second half on Friday against the NL East-leading New York Mets.

"We're going into the second half with good momentum," Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez said. "Hopefully, we can continue what we did here."

They will have to do it without Wood, who has a tear in his rotator cuff and is likely done for the season. Prior was scratched from last Sunday's game because of a strained left oblique, and he was slated to start this Sunday. All-Star Carlos Zambrano suffered a bruised right elbow when he was hit by a bat during batting practice in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

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