Breaking News Bar
updated: 7/27/2011 9:09 PM

Slumping Soriano grabs some bench

Success - Article sent! close

MILWAUKEE -- Left fielder Alfonso Soriano found himself on the bench Wednesday night for Game 2 of the Cubs' series against the Brewers at Miller Park.

Manager Mike Quade gave the start to Blake DeWitt instead.

"Just give Sori a day," Quade said. "He's had a rough month. He's struggled a little bit. I need to find Blake a game. This seemed like a good opportunity.

"It's been a tough 30 days for him. He's had several good games. He hasn't been able to be consistent."

Soriano entered Wednesday with an average/on-base/slugging line of .171/.194/.257 for July. He had hit 1 home run and driven in 8 while walking twice and striking out 16 times.

The Cubs would love to trade Soriano, who has three years after this left on his eight-year, $136 million contract. However, even if the Cubs eat most of the money, it's hard to imagine many teams believing Soriano could help them in any meaningful way.

Also slumping:

First baseman Carlos Pena entered Wednesday hitless in his previous four games, going 0-for-15. With only a one-year contract, Pena might be an attractive trade option for a contender, so this isn't a great time for a slump.

"It's funny because he's still working counts, still getting his walks," said Mike Quade. "I don't sense anything other than he just hasn't squared up many balls. He hasn't elevated the ball. When he's hit a ball hard, it's been on a line or it's been a groundball. I just think he's another guy that goes through these things. He'll go two weeks where he's locked in, even against left-handed pitching, and other times not. Hitters go through this a lot. I don't think this is unique to Carlos."

Injuries and illness:

Reliever Kerry Wood returned to the Cubs on Wednesday after spending part of Tuesday getting IV treatment for a stomach ailment.

Wood said the IVs helped greatly. Mike Quade said he hoped Wood could be used right away.

Outfielder Reed Johnson is still ailing with a bad back. When asked about Johnson's availability for Wednesday, Quade said: "Probably not. I know they're looking at him now and trying to make some decisions on where we're at with him and if he's available."

It's still not certain at this point whether Johnson will have to go on the disabled list. He spent one DL stint with back problems from late May into mid-June.

Get articles sent to your inbox.