Silva expects to stay on schedule

Silva expects to stay on schedule

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva still had some tightness in his right quad but said he expected to do his bullpen session on Tuesday.

Silva was pulled from Sunday's game against the Reds after two innings as a precautionary move. The right-hander went to the bullpen to throw another 45 pitches.

"What we were concerned about was that he was leading off an inning, had to run, maybe having to cover a base," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "So we got him out of [the game]. ... He's fine. He could've stayed in the game, but we were concerned."

Silva is one of four pitchers battling for two spots in the rotation. A decision was expected by Thursday or Friday as to who goes where.

Aramis Ramirez (sore right tricep) and Andres Blanco (sprained right knee) both took grounders Monday, and Blanco came into the game against the Indians at shortstop in the seventh. Ramirez still can't throw but may be used as a designated hitter in one of the Cubs' upcoming games in an American League ballpark.

Blanco injured his knee March 6. He still must wear a brace on his right knee, and he said it limits his mobility.

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Xavier Nady was the designated hitter on Monday against the Indians. Piniella would like Nady to play some outfield this spring.

"He hasn't played the outfield in a while," Piniella said. "[You need to] Get your legs under you and at the same time, pick up the ball off the bat. That's part of an outfielder's work load."

Nady may go down to Fitch Park to play outfield in one of the Cubs' Minor League games.

Piniella and the coaching staff will sit down after Monday's game to discuss final roster moves.

"We've only got two weeks to go," Piniella said.

There was one other minor injury. Hiro Aoyama, who is Kosuke Fukudome's interpreter, was accidentally hit on the right side of his forehead by a fungo bat on Monday. The result was a lump the size of a golf ball. Aoyama was day-to-day.

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