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Hendry visits I-Cubs

Hendry visits I-Cubs
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was finishing up a visit to Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, where he has been watching the organization?s Class AAA farm club.

When Hendry returns

to Wrigley Field today or Wednesday, it?s not likely he?ll bring a pitcher or a hitter with him unless one stows away in his suitcase.

"I?ll wait and see," Hendry said by phone as he watched the Iowa Cubs play Round Rock on a blustery day in Des Moines. "There won?t be anybody new tomorrow. We?ll go though the normal sequence of things."

The name attracting the most attention is right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who was lights-out in his most recent start, pitching 6 innings and giving up 1 hit and 2 runs. Samardzija came up to the big club last July and pitched well out of the bullpen, but the Cubs want him to continue working on his entire repertoire as a starter with Iowa.

For the season, he has pitched 12 innings, allowing 6 hits and 4 walks while striking out 11.

Samardzija?s name has come up because he has pitched well and because the big club?s bullpen has struggled, giving up 27 hits and 25 walks in 38 innings.

"We?re not playing great, but we?re still winning our share," said Hendry, whose Cubs take a 7-4 record into tonight?s series opener against the Reds at Wrigley Field. "The bullpen will sort itself out."

Fox trotting: Infielder-outfielder Jake Fox was named the Pacific Coast League?s hitter of the week. He went 14-for-22 (.478) with 7 home runs, 5 doubles and 14 runs scored. Fox entered Monday with a .528 on-base percentage, 1.087 slugging percentage and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.615.

"He?s in a streak like Hoffpauir was last year," Hendry said, referring to Micah Hoffpauir, who hit 25 homers last year for Iowa and made the Cubs ? opening-day roster this year. "He (Fox) hit one on top of a building yesterday."

Harden a go: Righty Rich Harden starts tonight?s series opener against the Reds. Last week against the Rockies, Harden threw 92 pitches and lasted just 3 innings in a 5-2 loss.

"I feel great, feel a lot stronger. Everything?s coming together," said Harden who has battled shoulder woes for the past several years. "This is the best I?ve felt in a long time.

"I think you just take something from the last start. I realize I might have felt too good and tried to do a little too much. I?ll try to learn from that, learn to pace myself the next time and slow it down. That?s one thing I?ve worked on the last couple of years."

Simply angelic: Angel Guzman earned his first major-league win in Saturday?s 7-5, 11-inning victory over the Cardinals. The Cubs signed Guzman, now 27, out of Venezuela in 1999, and he made his big-league debut in 2006.

This once-touted prospect has battled shoulder and elbow problems for much of his pro career.

"Oh, finally, and the way that we won that game coming back from a deficit of 4-1 is good for the team, and I think it?s going to give us a chance to start playing better Baseball," Guzman said. "Since 2006, waiting. Finally. I?ve got the ball in my locker. I?m going to give it to my mom."

Hot and not: Kosuke Fukudome enters the Reds series with a three-game hitting streak in which he?s gone 5-for-13. He has 9 extra-base hits in his last nine games. Alfonso Soriano is on a seven-game hitting streak (9-for-28). He has hit safely in 10 of the Cubs ? 11 games.

Mike Fontenot is 1-for-15 (.067) on the homestand. He snapped an 0-for-14 skid Friday. Catcher Geovany Soto is 1-for-13 on the homestand. Manager Lou Piniella planned to give Soto the night off Sunday, but the game against the Cardinals was rained out.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 22, 2009

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