CHICAGO -- Cubs pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner were to be examined Monday night by the team orthopedic specialist, but Wells took a positive step in his rehab and started playing catch.
Cashner and Wells are both on the disabled list and were scheduled to see team orthopedic specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo at Wrigley Field. An official update was expected Tuesday.
Neither pitcher has any pain or discomfort. Cashner, who has a strained right rotator cuff, and Wells, who has a strained right forearm, were placed on the disabled list April 7 and told they could not pick up a baseball for two weeks.
Wells was able to play catch Monday under the watch of pitching coach Mark Riggins.
Top of Cubs' lineup off to sizzling start
CHICAGO -- Even Mike Quade's younger brother gets to play reporter, and he asked the Cubs manager whether he thinks he'll have a set lineup.
"I don't think so," Quade said Monday.
The Cubs do appear to have found an effective one-two combo in Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney, who entered Monday's game batting .418 and .333, respectively. Aramis Ramirez is set at No. 4, but there are some issues elsewhere.
"I think the thing that's great is that even with a kid like Castro, who has been [No.] 2, [first in the lineup], could he wind up somewhere else? Absolutely," Quade said. "He's flexible, Barney's flexible, [Kosuke] Fukudome's flexible. You have a cleanup hitter who you want right there [in Ramirez], and I think the people around him, for the most part everybody, would be flexible to whatever we come up with as far as being productive."
Marlon Byrd, the No. 3 hitter, is batting .292 overall, but is 3-for-20 (.150) with runners in scoring position. Carlos Pena was 2-for-14 (.143) with RISP.
"I like what those kids are doing at the top," Quade said of Castro and Barney, "but I still think the entire thing is a bit of a work in progress."
Castro began the season in the No. 2 spot, but was moved to leadoff and has thrived. He was batting .563 (18-for-32) in the No. 1 spot. Could the 21-year-old bat third?
"He's put himself in a position to allow me to do pretty much whatever I want with the kid," Quade said. "I'm of the mindset now that he can hit, and just wants to hit, and wherever we situate him will make us as productive as we can be. Right now it's in the one-hole. That could change."
Russell seeks better results in second start
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher James Russell planned on bringing a few extra layers of camouflage clothing for his start on Tuesday. The forecast calls for rain, thunderstorms and temperatures in the 40s.
"This will be some of the coldest weather I've ever pitched in," the lefty said. "That's not the most exciting part."
What is exciting is that Russell will get another start, his second, as the Cubs continue to fill in the gaps created by injuries to Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner. In his first outing last Tuesday in Houston, Russell threw 55 pitches, but couldn't get through two innings.
"You can only hope it'll go better," he said. "I'm looking forward to it. I'm not real sure how we'll go about it, but probably go about it the same way as last time."
The plan is to have Russell go a little longer, and he said he could handle the extra work.
"Unless he does something exceptional, the main thing is to keep him healthy and productive in whatever role we decide to use him in," Cubs manager Mike Quade said.
An avid outdoorsman, Russell has been wearing his camouflage tights under his Cubs uniform to stay warm in batting practice.
"I might need to bring out a camo jacket or two," he said.
No matter what happens, the easygoing Russell can deal with it. Does he want to be a regular in the rotation?
"If it works that way, awesome, and if not, awesome," he said. "Either way, as long as I'm here, I'm going to be happy. Whether it's starting or relieving, it's up to them.
"I'm pitching, so that's all that matters," he said. "Just being out there is fun. Whether you're taking the ball in the first inning or the fifth, sixth or seventh is great."
CHICAGO -- The Cubs received new t-shirts on Monday designed by catcher Koyie Hill. The shirt says "PASS10N" on the front and on the sleeve it says, "Play like a 10." The shirt commemorates Ron Santo and his passion for the game. He died in December at the age of 70. ... Right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter, who was outrighted to make room on the 40-man roster when the Cubs signed free agent Kerry Wood, has been returned to the Cubs. He was claimed by the Yankees and then claimed by the Phillies, but Schlitter had some problems with his right elbow. A Chicago area product, Schlitter will report to the Cubs' extended Spring Training camp in Mesa, Ariz. ... Doug Davis, who signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs, has been throwing in Mesa. He was expected to be assigned to one of the Minor League teams early next month. Todd Wellemeyer, still bothered by a hip injury, and Augie Ojeda, slowed by back spasms, were both rehabbing in Mesa as well.
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.