MILWAUKEE -- Alfonso Soriano said he was one of many who used to respect Manny Ramirez because of the type of hitter he was and was saddened by the news that the outfielder reportedly tested positive for drug use. Ramirez announced his retirement Friday.
Soriano didn't know Ramirez well except when they saw each other at ballparks.
"We had a lot of respect for him because of the hitter he is," Soriano said. "What he did surprised me. A lot of players who use [PEDs] surprise me. It's very sad, an All-Star guy, maybe future Hall of Fame."
Can Ramirez make the Hall of Fame now?
"I don't think so," Soriano said.
After Soriano came back from playing in Japan, he had a tryout with the Indians and Ramirez was on the team at that time.
"I said, 'Man, I want to be like him one day,'" Soriano said. "Now, I see him, a great hitter, and I wanted to be a great hitter like him but not use what he used because it's negative for the game.
"I don't know why people use [PEDs]. Everybody has talent. I don't know why people want to use something to make them better. What God gave you, that's what you've got."
A few of the Cubs did not want to discuss Ramirez's situation.
"We want to play with a clean name, not like that," Soriano said. "I don't understand why he did it. I don't see why because he has so much talent."
Cubs recall Stevens; Cashner, Wells hit DL
MILWAUKEE -- Jeff Stevens got the call to join the big league team before the Minor League season began, so the way he sees it, he came close to breaking with the big league club on Opening Day.
The Cubs recalled Stevens from Triple-A Iowa on Friday and officially placed Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells on the 15-day disabled list. Cashner has a right rotator cuff strain and is on the DL retroactive to April 6. Wells has a right forearm strain and is on the DL retroactive to April 5.
Stevens, 27, joined the Cubs on Friday at Miller Park for the start of a three-game series against the Brewers.
"That gives us eight rested guys," Cubs manager Mike Quade said of his bullpen. "Hopefully, I can't screw that up. We'll monitor it day to day."
Stevens was in Round Rock on Tuesday with the Triple-A Iowa team and worked out Wednesday. He got the phone call Wednesday night that he was coming up to the big league team and arrived Thursday.
"I guess this will be the closest to breaking with the team without breaking with the team," Stevens said.
The right-hander has pitched in part of the last two seasons with the Cubs and is 1-0 with a 6.53 ERA in 29 relief appearances in his big league career. He split the 2010 campaign between the Cubs and Triple-A Iowa.
"I'll do what I can to stick this time," Stevens said.
This spring, he totaled 5 2/3 innings over six games. Stevens did miss time because of some soreness in his right elbow but said everything is good now.
"They told me, 'You're throwing well, keep it up,'" Stevens said of the message he got when he was sent down. "I was hoping to keep throwing once the Triple-A season started, but the Triple-A season never started for me."
Wells made his 2011 season debut on Monday and limited the D-backs to one run on six hits and four walks over six innings, striking out six. He felt discomfort in his forearm the next day.
Cashner made his season debut on Tuesday and held the D-backs to one run on two hits and one walk while fanning two in 5 1/3 innings before exiting with stiffness in his right shoulder.
Coleman, Russell to make upcoming starts
MILWAUKEE -- Right-hander Casey Coleman will be added to the Cubs' 25-man roster in time to start Sunday in the series finale against the Brewers, and lefty James Russell will make his first Major League start Tuesday against the Astros.
The two additions to the rotation were necessary after Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right rotator cuff and strained right forearm, respectively.
Coleman made eight starts for the Cubs last season and was 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA. He was one of the last pitchers sent to the Minor Leagues in Spring Training. At Triple-A Iowa last year, he went 10-7 with a 4.07 ERA.
Russell was used strictly in relief last season with the Cubs, appearing in 53 games. He made one start in Spring Training this year, and the most pitches he threw in Arizona was 56. Cubs manager Mike Quade said he's not expecting a complete game by the lefty Tuesday but will have a limit of about 50 pitches. The rest of the bullpen will then finish up.
"I want to impress upon [Russell] that this is not something where you go out in the first inning and try to figure out, 'How am I going to make 70 pitches?'" Quade said.
Losing two starters is normal in the Minor Leagues, and usually the manager has as much notice as Quade did with the injuries to Cashner and Wells, which were announced Wednesday. But in the Minor Leagues, roster moves are usually made because players are called up.
"We've got enough folks that I think it'll work out good," Quade said.
Carlos Zambrano matched his career-high winning streak of nine games with a win Friday. His other nine-game win streak was June 5-July 30, 2006.
The Cubs are the only Major League team without a stolen base this year. "We've only taken one shot," manager Mike Quade said. "I'd love to have 20 stolen bases." The Cubs don't exactly have a lot of speed on the roster. "If we were a speed club and we weren't being successful, I'd worry about it," Quade said. "I think you still need to run intelligently."
Quade took the train from Chicago to Milwaukee on Thursday night.
The Cubs have started the season with seven straight games decided by three or fewer runs, and a reliever picking up a save in each win. They opened the 1990 season with six straight games decided by three or fewer runs but lost the seventh game of the season, 10-1, to the Mets.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.