Possible Move Could Shuttle Pie to Minors

So what happens to center fielder Felix Pie if the Cubs pick up veteran Jim Edmonds?

That was the question of the day Tuesday, and manager Lou Piniella was combative when talking about Pie and his handling of young players.

Pie, the Opening Day center fielder, has lost his starting job to veteran Reed Johnson as the Cubs work on Pie's swing and approach at the plate.

"We're trying to help him in his hitting skills; that's all we're trying to do," Piniella said.

It's a good bet Pie will be optioned to Class AAA Iowa if the Cubs do sign Edmonds after he clears waivers Wednesday. The Padres cut Edmonds last Friday. Pie, a left-handed batter, is 1-for-10 against left-handed pitchers this year and is batting .222 overall. The Cubs want him to work on his weight shift and adjust to breaking pitches better.

"I'd like to get Pie more playing time, quite frankly," Piniella said. "Reed Johnson's been doing a good job. I think we're 15- or 16-6 when he plays center field. I look at those things, too. I try to be as fair as I possibly can. I try to play everybody."

Edmonds hadn't done much better than Pie. He was 2-for-17 (.118) against left-handed pitching and 14-for-73 (.192) against righties. Pie has played stellar defense this season, and he possesses more speed and range than Edmonds does at this stage of his career.

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