Notes: Pagan to DL as Pie called up
Cubs mired in offensive slump; players applaud Bonds
HOUSTON -- The Cubs made their daily roster move Wednesday, placing Angel Pagan on the 15-day disabled list and recalling outfielder Felix Pie from Triple-A Iowa.
Pagan has colitis and has lost weight and has very little energy, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. The outfielder, who was batting .264 in 71 games, returned to Chicago.
"He's had this for awhile, and it's been treated with medication," Piniella said. "The prescription basically is for bedrest for about a week."
Pie was hitting .360 with eight doubles, five triples, nine homers and 42 RBIs in 54 games with Iowa this season. This is his third callup to the big-league team this year, and in his previous stints he was a combined .216 with 19 runs scored, 18 RBIs, six doubles, three triples and two home runs.
The one good thing about getting back to the Minor League team was that Pie, 22, got to play every day.
"I just needed to play, that's it," Pie said.
He is close with Alfonso Soriano, who strained his right quad Sunday night and will be sidelined at least a month. Pie called his friend and teammate after the game -- and they will be together again this weekend. Soriano is expected to join the Cubs in Colorado for their four-game series against the Rockies.
Pie plans on sticking around. He doesn't want to go back to Iowa.
"I'm not going to go back down again," he said. "You're going to see me here for a long time."
Piniella will insert Pie as a defensive replacement and might start him in Colorado. And the Cubs aren't done as far as transactions go. Daryle Ward, who has been on the disabled list since July 20 with a right calf strain, is expected to join the Cubs in Denver as well and could be activated as early as Thursday.
"According to the people in Mesa [Ariz., where Ward has been rehabbing], he's about 90, 95 percent," Piniella said. "We'll work him out [Thursday] before the ballgame. As soon as he's ready to go, we'll activate him, and we'll have a nice, experienced bat off the bench."
Ward doesn't have to be ready to play in the outfield, just able to hit. He was batting .333 in 47 games and was 6-for-25 off the bench when he was injured.
"If he's ready to go tomorrow, I wouldn't rule it out," Piniella said about activating Ward.
Slump: The Cubs are 0-for-20 with runners in scoring position in their last two games. One National League scout said Soriano's loss is part of the reason the offense seems out of whack.
"He's money in the bank," the scout said. "With him gone, everything changes."
Is the problem no Soriano?
"I've been guilty of it just like everybody else," Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot said. "You get up there and try to press a little bit and try to do too much instead of staying in your game plan. What happens is when we start to struggle to score runs, guys put a little bit of pressure on themselves to do it all.
"With 'Sori' out of the lineup, now everybody has to pick it up a little bit and do a little more instead of staying with their game," Theriot said. "We're trying to be Alfonso, which is impossible. It's a different ballgame when he's not in there."
Salute: The Cubs congratulated Barry Bonds on passing Hank Aaron with his 756th career homer to become the all-time homer king.
"That's history -- and he got a hold of it," Piniella said. "Congratulations to Barry. That's a lot of home runs. It's a wonderful, monumental achievement."
Cliff Floyd enjoyed watching the historical features regarding Hank Aaron and the difficult ordeals he faced as a player rather than seeing a zillion replays of Bonds' swing. Floyd also was a teammate of Washington pitcher Mike Bacsik, who served up the record-setting blast.
"I don't think he wanted to be the one who gave it up," Floyd said. "I think [Bruce] Bochy said it best -- 755 other guys gave it up. You admire [Bacsik]. He wasn't afraid to pitch to him. His kids will have something to talk about for a long time -- and they'll see replays. 'Hey, dad, that's you.'"
Theriot said he couldn't fathom hitting as many homers as Bonds has.
"It's unbelievable," Theriot said. "The thing that really upsets me is everybody talks about it being a tainted record. C'mon -- that's a joke. This guy has accomplished so much in his career, and to pass the home run record like he has and to do it in a short amount of time and short amount of at-bats and to do it late in his career, it's amazing.
"I have all the respect for this guy in the world. It's an incredible record, and it will stand for a long time. And people don't even talk about the Gold Gloves and MVPs that he's won.
"We're talking about a complete ballplayer. I don't think anyone can touch him, except maybe [Alex Rodriguez]. Barry, he's the best, and there's a reason. He's a great ballplayer, a great athlete and he's stood the test of time."
Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis also felt the record wasn't tainted by suspicions of steroid use.
"You still have to go out there and hit the ball," Marquis said. "To get to that point, you have to do some hard work. It's something he achieved, and you have to tip your hat to him. Whether people want to make a big issue of the steroid issue or not, it's an unbelievable record."
Aches and pains: Will Ohman, optioned to Iowa on Tuesday to make room for Sean Gallagher in the Cubs bullpen, underwent an MRI on Wednesday in Chicago. The test showed irritation in the AC (acromioclavicular) joint in his shoulder, which will sideline him a couple days, team officials said.
Piniella said he was surprised to hear that Ohman's shoulder was giving him trouble. The lefty had not said anything to the manager until he got the news that he was being demoted.
"First of all, I don't pitch or play people who have something wrong physically," Piniella said. "I didn't know anything about it. The trainer and I converse every day. I didn't know."
Welcome to the show: Eric Patterson did retrieve the ball from his first Major League hit, which he collected Tuesday night in the second inning against the Astros and Woody Williams. It's a good souvenir.
Patterson also has been doing a lot of extra pregame work in left field to get used to the strange configurations at Minute Maid Park. Coach Mike Quade is keeping Patterson busy.
"It's definitely not like any ballpark I've ever been in," Patterson said. "Especially early on, I have to get work in and get comfortable. [Quade] has been awesome."
So far so good for Patterson.
"I've been pretty relaxed and felt comfortable in the batter's box," he said. "Once you get that first time in the batter's box and first ball hit to you, then you can relax and play. I was fortunate where I didn't have it too bad the other day. I'm really able to focus and relax and concentrate on what I need to do."
Extra bases: Aramis Ramirez was a late scratch from the lineup with soreness in his right wrist. He did not play Tuesday, but before the game, Piniella expected the third baseman to go all weekend. He's bothered not only by the sore wrist, which he injured in Spring Training, but also a sore knee. "His wrist is bothering him more than his knee," Piniella said. ... Jacque Jones batted second for the fifth time this season. Piniella also is considering inserting Jason Kendall into the No. 2 spot in the lineup. ... Wednesday's lineup is believed to be the 94th different configuration for Piniella in 113 games. ... Infielder Brian Dopirak cleared waivers and was outrighted to Class A Daytona. ... Carlos Zambrano has hit three home runs at Minute Maid Park. Why not bat him eighth? Tony La Russa moves his pitchers up in the lineup. "Tony's had a lot of success," Piniella said of the St. Louis manager. "Whatever Tony does is fine with me."
Minor matters: Iowa's game against Las Vegas was suspended because of rain Tuesday and was to be resumed Wednesday before the regularly scheduled game. ... Double-A Tennessee had Tuesday off and was to begin a five-game series against West Tenn on Wednesday. ... Joel Santo gave up four runs on five hits over six innings in Daytona's 8-1 loss to Fort Myers. ... Robert Hernandez gave up 10 runs, eight earned, on 16 hits over five innings in Class A Peoria's 10-2 loss to Great Lakes. Jose Ceda and Alessandro Maestri combined to pitch four scoreless innings in relief. ... Mark Pawelek pitched a perfect two innings, striking out three, to finish the game and help Class A Boise snap a two-game losing streak with a 14-8 win over Eugene. ... Cliff Andersen hit a first-inning, two-out homer in Mesa's 7-3 loss to the Angels.
On deck: Ted Lilly will open the Cubs' four-game series in Colorado on Thursday night, with Ubaldo Jimenez opposing. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on WGN.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.