Notes, Quotes

Mark Prior

RHP Mark Prior will throw a couple of simulated innings either over the weekend or the beginning of next week before the Cubs decide if he is ready for his first Cactus League start.

The Cubs are bringing him along slowly after he missed two weeks of offseason work because of an illness. Prior and the Cubs continue to insist nothing is wrong with his arm.

  • RHP Kerry Wood (shoulder and knee surgery) has been doing some light throwing from a standing position, but it's not known yet when he will get back on a mound. Wood last threw from a mound on March 6, one day before undergoing minor knee surgery.

  • RHP Roberto Novoa, who was urged to stay away from camp because of what was first reported as a respiratory illness, had pneumonia and the Cubs are not sure when he will be back. If he misses a significant amount of time, look for Novoa to open the season at Triple-A Iowa. There is a crowd of qualified pitchers vying for what could end up being just six bullpen spots open.

  • OF Jacque Jones is scheduled to miss weekend action because he will attend a service in Minnesota for the late Kirby Puckett.

  • OF John Mabry, who is capable of backing up 1B Derrek Lee and 3B Aramis Ramirez, made two errors at third base on Wednesday (March 8), but that doesn't concern manager Dusty Baker. Baker said Mabry has proved to be a solid infielder over the years. "It's (just) one day," Baker said. "He's been battling a bad back. We'll get him acclimated there."

    BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Surgeries endured by Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood. He had elbow surgery in 1999, shoulder surgery in 2005 and knee surgery on March 7.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I said, 'Yeah, I'm Derrek Lee' " -- Cubs second baseman Jerry Hairston on what he told umpires after they asked him if he knew his name after he was beaned by a pitch in a recent game.

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