Quade, Cubs left to fill two spots

Casey Coleman will be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to replace Randy Wells in the fourth spot in the rotation. Steve Mitchell/US Presswire

CHICAGO -- With the injuries to Andrew Cashner and [rotator cuff strain] and Randy Wells [forearm strain] this much is known: Neither pitcher will pick up a baseball for at least two weeks. After that both will be evaluated by team doctors to determine when rehabilitation can begin.

Cubs manager Mike Quade said he is not counting on either pitcher for three to four weeks.

"The way I'm looking at it now is over the next three weeks we need a line of three Tuesdays, where we need pitching," Quade said. "Whether that's [reliever James Russell] coming out of the chute or whether someone takes the bull by the horn in the minor leagues and establishes themselves, we need somebody three times in three weeks."

The Cubs plan is to recall Casey Coleman from Triple-A Iowa and make him the fourth starter. He will pitch Sunday against Milwaukee at Miller Park. The Cubs are trying to decide on a starter for Tuesday in Houston, and Quade mentioned Russell as a possibility.

"We are talking about starting him on that Tuesday in Houston," Quade said. "Nothing has been decided. [Ruseell started] some in the spring, and he's done it before. Right now he seems like one of the candidates."

General manager Jim Hendry will consider other minor leaguers such as Thomas Diamond, who pitched as a starter and reliever with the Cubs last season.

Cashner and Wells won't go on the disabled list on Wednesday. The Cubs will make a move or two on Friday.

"We have an off day [Thursday]," Hendry said. "We will kind of re-group and decided whether Casey will go Sunday or Tuesday. We may do that [Wednesday] or [Thursday] and then act accordingly."

The trade market might not be an option for Hendry. It appears all 30 teams are protecting their young pitchers and have no veteran pitching to trade. Hendry said asking veteran Braden Looper to return is not an option.

The 36-year-old Looper tried to make the team as a starter during spring training but retired on March 29 when he was told he was not going to make the rotation.

  • Hendry said team doctors have ruled out any elbow problems for Wells. "Nothing even close to the elbow. Nothing at all," Hendry said. "But you're exactly right, when you hear forearm [you think elbow]. A flexor strain or muscle strain, you think it might become an elbow. But there is nothing wrong with the ligament and there is nothing wrong with the ulnar nerve."