Notes: Wood sidelined by triceps strain
Status day-to-day after latest setback
MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood is sidelined indefinitely because of a minor strain of his right triceps, team officials said Thursday. His status is day-to-day.
Wood has made three Cactus League appearances, but has not pitched since Sunday. In that game, he apparently tweaked his triceps because of bad footing on the pitching mound at HoHoKam Park. Wood apparently tried to extend his stride past a hole in the mound and felt it in his arm.
"He had a little strain in his triceps on the posterior, on the bottom, and not where he was cut [during surgery]," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "We'll give him a couple days and let Mark [O'Neal, Cubs athletic trainer] work on him. I'm not anticipating any long-term difficulty. He'll skip the next couple days."
Wood, who is coming back from a partial tear of his right rotator cuff, has looked sharp this spring in his conversion from starter to reliever. He's thrown one inning in each of his three outings, and had been pitching every third day.
"Mark told me that [Wood] told him when he got done [on Sunday], he kind of extended longer with his stride," Hendry said. "Instead of taking a timeout and getting it fixed, he was striding past it to avoid the hole and felt a little strain under his arm. Hopefully, he'll be fine in a couple days."
Feelings: Ted Lilly wasn't too happy after his start Thursday because he reached 75 pitches in 3 2/3 innings. On the plus side, he got a better feel of his changeup, which is a pitch he'll be relying on this season.
"I didn't command the ball very well," Lilly said. "I was 3-2 [in the count] it seemed like on 70 percent of the hitters. It's going to be tough to work deep in the game if I continue to do that."
The other good news is that Lilly feels his sinker has come along better than previous springs. The pitch is one he's thrown for years and will likely come in very handy at Wrigley Field. It's a tough pitch for hitters to drive.
"I think it's going to be important to throw in a lot of ballparks," Lilly said. "When I make mistakes and leave balls out over the plate in wrong situations, it's hard to expect good results when you make poorly executed pitches. I think a sinker is a pitch you can take on the road, too, and not just use at Wrigley. You can use it to get out of innings and get double plays. That's why I'm trying to develop the pitch -- not because of Wrigley so much."
Lilly, who signed a four-year, $40 million contract, does feel a need to contribute.
"I expect to do something to help this team win," he said. "I think that's where the pressure is. I don't know how you ever justify, in my opinion, the kind of money that people make in entertainment in general. There's pressure and expectations of myself, and I feel my teammates will be relying on me to go out there and give them a chance to win."
Step by step: Sean Marshall, slowed this spring because of fatigue in his left shoulder, threw 30 pitches over two innings at the Minor League complex on Wednesday.
Marshall hopes to pitch in a Cactus League game this weekend or early next week. It's a little frustrating knowing there is a vacancy in the rotation and he's not able to compete for it.
"I know I have to get myself healthy before I can go any farther," he said. "It's just a matter of time."
Sick days: Mark DeRosa figures he's used up all his sick days. The Cubs second baseman has been sidelined with the stomach flu, and wasn't feeling 100 percent on Thursday but he was in the lineup.
"I think my off days are gone now," DeRosa said.
"He needs to play," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He's missed three, four days. You really don't want to miss three, four days in Spring Training."
On Thursday, DeRosa batted eighth and was 0-for-2. He's one of the candidates to hit second in the lineup.
"I think everyone on this team is battling and would want to hit there," DeRosa said. "You get a chance to hit behind [Alfonso] Soriano and in front of [Derrek Lee] and Aramis Ramirez. That's fastball heaven.
"Obviously, a lot goes into hitting in the two spot when you're dealing with a base stealer like Alfonso," DeRosa said. "Listening to Lou, he wants a guy who can see a lot of pitches and hit the ball to the right side. We have a lot of candidates here who are capable of doing it."
DeRosa is a versatile player, and played six different positions last year. He has only taken grounders at second base this spring and Piniella hasn't given any indication that he'll move DeRosa anywhere else. At least not yet.
"It's not something that I'm not prepared for," DeRosa said. "Injuries have a way of shuffling the lineup. We have guys like Ryan Theriot who can move all around. It's just a matter of what [Piniella] wants to do. It's nice that I haven't moved around here. It gives me a chance to work with Cesar [Izturis] and Ronny [Cedeno] and guys who will be playing shortstop.
"But if I find myself in the outfield come June, I wouldn't be shocked," he said.
Don't look for DeRosa in the outfield shagging.
"I would always look at the lineup and see where I was playing and concentrate on that position that day," he said of his pregame routine. "You'd blow your arm out outfield, infield -- it becomes too much. I'm not 15 any more."
Extra bases: Lee started at first base and said he had no lingering problems after being taken out of Monday's game as a precautionary measure. Lee tweaked his right groin sliding into second. "I was never hurt," Lee said. ... Cliff Floyd was the designated hitter Thursday against the Mariners, and hit his first spring homer in the first inning, a three-run shot. He added an opposite field double. ... Soriano was 3-for-3 Thursday in the Cubs' 9-3 win over Seattle, and stole a base. "He says as we get a little closer to the end of Spring Training, he'll lose four, five pounds so he can steal some more bases," Piniella said. "One good thing about this young man is he comes to the ballpark every day with a great disposition. He enjoys playing." ... Mark Prior won't be the only pitcher throwing in the Minor League camp on Friday. Jason Marquis also is expected to get some work in at Fitch Park. ... Rich Hill is scheduled to start Saturday against the San Diego Padres. That game will be broadcast on WGN Radio and WGN TV. ... The Police will perform at Wrigley Field on July 5. Tickets for the concert will go on sale March 26 at 10 a.m. CT at www.tickets.com or by calling 1-800-THE-CUBS.
On deck: The Cubs travel to Tucson to play their intracity rivals, the Chicago White Sox. Angel Guzman, battling for a spot in the rotation, will start for the Cubs against Javier Vazquez.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.