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Exam day will tell more about Wells, Cashner

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

DENVER — Today could be an important day for the Cubs’ pitching staff as injured starters Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are scheduled for their first follow-up exams by the team orthopedist.

Pending Dr. Stephen Gryzlo’s evaluations, throwing programs could begin for either or both pitchers this week.

That would be especially welcome news considering the Cubs haven’t had a quality start since Wells’ only game of the season
April 4.

Wells (strained forearm) could be in position to make a quicker return to the rotation because of the nature of his injury. Either way, neither he nor Cashner (shoulder strain) appears to have had any setbacks or issues with strength and rehab work since getting hurt.

“Everybody here has been so happy with their progress, but when the doctor puts the stamp on it, then you feel like it’s full steam ahead,’’ manager Mike Quade said. “It’ll be a good day when we get them both back or one or the other comes back. But as long as there’s no bad news [today], then it should be a good day.’’

Neither has been allowed to throw even lightly since being injured.


Quade said he’ll consider using infielder Jeff Baker in the outfield to get the .370 hitter more at-bats now that Darwin Barney has won most of the playing time at second base.

◆ A second or two after a first-pitch strike call on Geovany Soto in the eighth with a runner at second, plate umpire Bob Davidson lifted his mask and shouted a warning at the apparently loquacious Cubs bench — gesturing directly at Quade.

‘‘I don’t know what he was yelling at me for,’’ Quade said.

James Russell could get 65 to 75 pitches to work with when he makes his second spot start Tuesday as a fill-in fifth starter. He threw 55 last Tuesday in his first start, getting through just five outs in Houston.

Starlin Castro had his fourth three-hit performance in six games since taking over the leadoff spot (he also has had a two-hit game), going 15-for-28 (.536) with a walk and seven runs scored in those
two series.

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