Cubs notebook: GM wants to put Ohman's troubles behind him
Don’t expect a lot of barking when Will Ohman returns.
The left-hander will likely be called up from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday, and general manager Jim Hendry is not expecting any controversy. When Ohman was sent down on Aug. 7, he told reporters his shoulder was “barking” for a while. Hendry and manager Lou Piniella said they were unaware he was hurt.
Ohman then tried to clarify things by going on WSCR-AM (670). Ohman said then the Cubs’ medical staff knew he was hurt and didn’t tell Piniella or Hendry.
That prompted one player, who thought Ohman was throwing the trainers under the bus, to call Ohman “our ex-lefty pitcher” and add, “How many times was he in the trainer’s room? You can’t not show up and then say ‘I’m hurt.’ ”
Both Piniella and Hendry said they had no problems with Ohman. Hendry said whatever happens between Ohman and his teammates should be resolved quickly.
“I don’t tell players how to interact with their teammates,” Hendry said. “Will’s no different. He’s made some mistakes. He has some faults. But he’s been around here a long time. If he was a bad guy, we would have gotten rid of him a long time ago.
“He went down to Iowa and handled himself very well. I don’t think there’s anything that can’t be cleared up in a day or two. I’m sure Will feels badly how it got evolved. We didn’t keep Will down there as a punishment. We thought he had to get back on track and he’s been throwing the ball well lately.”
Pitcher Bob Howry said he’s not making a big deal about what was said.
“That’s a done deal,” Howry said. “We’ve got enough things around here to worry about. It’s not like he’s some rookie trying to fit in. He’s been around here for a couple of years and he’s been away for a month.”
The Cubs have until midnight tonight to be able to add an outside player to the roster in order for him to be eligible for the postseason.
There are rumors the Cubs are interested in Baltimore pitcher Steve Trachsel, who was a Cub from 1993-99. Major league rules prohibit Hendry from talking about players on other teams.
Hendry said Thursday there were no deals on the table.
Milwaukee slugger Prince Fielder stared down Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano after Zambrano spun and pumped his fist after striking out Fielder during the first inning of Wednesday’s game.
Fielder also had a few words for Cubs first-base coach Matt Sinatro.
“He mumbled something about not backing down from Carlos, but I really can’t comment because I couldn’t hear him,” Sinatro said. “I don’t know what he said. I wasn’t paying attention. I was looking for someone in the stands.”
Joltin’ Joe, Paulie and Geovany
Triple-A Iowa catcher Geovany Soto won the Pacific Coast League MVP after driving in 103 runs and carrying a .353 batting average heading into Thursday’s action.
Past PCL MVPs include Joe DiMaggio (1935) and Paul Konerko (1997).
Piniella said Soto would be called up Saturday.
On a rare night in which the Cubs and Bears were both in town playing games, Piniella was asked to compare motivational tactics for a football coach and a baseball manager.
“They play once a week,” Piniella said. “If I gave speeches every day, people would be hiding in the bathroom.”
On the move
Left-hander Clay Rapada was claimed off waivers Thursday by Detroit. The move was used to complete the trade in which the Cubs acquired outfielder Craig Monroe.
Outfielder Buck Coats was traded to Cincinnati for a player to be named. Coats spent the 2007 season at Triple-A Iowa.
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