Piniella: Soto is 'ready to go' for Cubs

MILWAUKEE -- The Chicago Cubs got some welcome good news on the ailing right shoulder of catcher Geovany Soto on Sunday, and now expect him to return to the lineup Wednesday. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Soto could be available as a pinch runner or pinch hitter earlier, but only in an emergency.

"He's ready to go, basically," Piniella said before Sunday's series finale in Milwaukee. "We're not going to use him tonight. Tomorrow, if we need him, we can use him. And by Wednesday he'll be able to play. So we'll ride this thing out and go from there. But he's feeling really, really good and it's good news for us, obviously."

Soto hasn't played since leaving Tuesday's game in Houston. And with the Cubs carrying only one other catcher, Koyie Hill, Soto might have been put on the disabled list if he couldn't return early this week.

Piniella also reaffirmed his commitment to closer Kevin Gregg, despite Gregg's blown save Friday and Carlos Marmol's successful save Saturday.