Notes: Maddux beloved by teammates

Notes: Maddux beloved by teammates

CHICAGO -- It was difficult for Cubs players to say goodbye to Greg Maddux, who was traded on Monday to the Los Angeles Dodgers for shortstop Cesar Izturis.

"It's tough for a lot of reasons," Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. "We've spent a lot of time together. He's great to have around, the innings he gave us every time he pitched, all those things, but that's part of the game. He's as much a friend of everybody around here as anything else."

"I think the guy is like a machine," Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano said. "I've never seen him sore or him have any pain in his arm. He knows what to do. That's why every year he throws 200-plus innings. He knows how to get to 200 innings.

"To me, he's in the Hall of Fame. I hope the Dodgers go to the playoffs just for him."

Maddux's offseason home is in Las Vegas, Nev., and he will be closer to his family by playing for Los Angeles.

"He's the most competitive guy here, a guy who loves to win, a great teammate," Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said of Maddux. "He wants to pitch in the postseason more than anybody. He felt like coming here [in 2004] was the best chance. Knowing Greg and knowing the competitor he is, this is an opportunity to pitch in the postseason, which is what he's wanted and that's not necessarily a bad thing."

Zambrano and Maddux are complete opposites as far as their emotions go. Did Big Z learn anything from being around the 40-year-old pitcher?

"I learned how to get experience in the game, how to do the right things in the game, how to calm myself down," Zambrano said. "I learned a lot of things from him. That was good. I think I owe that guy for many things in my career."

Maddux could always come back.

"When you think of Greg, I don't think you'll think of him as a Los Angeles Dodger," Barrett said. "I think you'll always think of him as an Atlanta Brave or a Chicago Cub."

And it isn't just Maddux who is leaving. His 9-year-old son, Chase, was also a regular in the clubhouse.

"It was great having him at the ballpark," Maddux said. "That's one of the things I appreciate about [manager] Dusty [Baker] is that kids are welcome here. They get to play a kids' game on a big-league field."

Start me up: With Maddux gone, the Cubs will need a starter on Thursday. If lefty Glendon Rusch is not needed on Monday in Mark Prior's start, he could get the assignment against the Diamondbacks.

The Cubs also could call up one of their Minor League pitchers. They've already used five rookies this season, including Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol, Rich Hill, Angel Guzman and Jae Kuk Ryu.

"I'm just hoping that whoever the young kids are who are brought up can give us some innings," Baker said.

The overworked bullpen could use a breather, especially during this stretch in which the Cubs play 20 straight days. Rusch is 3-6 with an 8.36 ERA in nine starts this season.

Extra bases: Infielder Todd Walker, dealt to the San Diego Padres for Minor League pitcher Jose Ceda, was asked what the Cubs were missing to have success.

"Kerry Wood, Prior and Derrek Lee," Walker said of three players, who have spent more time on the disabled list than the field this season.

"It's hard to pinpoint one thing," Walker said. "There is no rhyme or reason why things happen the way they do. We did have some injuries, and that was part of the problem. In the month of May, we had eight hitters who struggled at the same time. I don't know -- it's tough to pinpoint one exact thing."

Streaking: Zambrano finished the month of July with six wins. The last Cubs pitcher to win that many games in a month was Rick Sutcliffe in Aug. 1984, who won six. The last Cub with more than six wins was Rick Reuschel with seven in Aug. 1979.

Minor matters: Michael Restovich drove in five runs in Iowa's 12-11 win over Las Vegas. Kerry Ligtenberg picked up the win, despite giving up two runs in the ninth. ... Brian Dopirak hit his first home run with Double-A West Tenn in a 6-5 loss to Tennessee. Jake Fox and Scott Moore each had two hits. ... Yusuf Carter hit a pair of doubles in Peoria's 8-6 loss to Dayton. ... Tyler Colvin was hitless to snap his hitting streak at 12 games in Boise's 7-1 loss to Salem-Keizer.

On deck: Rookie left-hander Rich Hill will start in Game 2 of the four-game series with the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night. He'll face right-hander Claudio Vargas. The game will be broadcast on WGN radio and Comcast SportsNet.

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