Cubs’ postponement gives pen a break, pushes Maholm’s start back

SHARE Cubs’ postponement gives pen a break, pushes Maholm’s start back

Chicago Cubs’ Paul Maholm during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, April 27, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

CINCINNATI – When Tuesday’s series opener in Cincinnati finally was postponed, the Cubs got a needed break for the bullpen and two extra days of rest for left-hander Paul Maholm.

Maholm, who was scheduled to start Wednesday, will be pushed back to Friday’s series opener against the Dodgers at home, keeping Ryan Dempster on his scheduled return from the disabled list to start Thursday.

Tuesday’s starter, Jeff Samardzija, goes Wednesday against Bronson Arroyo in Tuesday’s original matchup.

The bigger benefits for the Cubs involve a bullpen that was without setup man Rafael Dolis on Tuesday because he pitched three of the four games in Philadelphia leading up to the Reds series.

The pen also was without left-hander Scott Maine, who had a recurrence of flulike symptoms that bothered him over the weekend.

The minor changes to the pitching plans don’t figure to affect the impending roster moves, with Kerry Wood (shoulder) expected to return from the DL on Thursday with Dempster (quadriceps).

The postponement was not rescheduled by late Tuesday, but the Cubs return to Cincinnati only once more this season. That puts the likeliest makeup possibility Aug. 19 as a Sunday doubleheader.

LaHair still achingÂ

Bryan LaHair is learning a lot more about nerve damage and regeneration than he could’ve ever imagined. And definitely more than he wants to.

The Cubs’ top slugger, who missed the first two games of the season because of a nerve/disk issue in his back that surfaced in late March, still is dealing with lingering pain.

‘‘It’ll go away eventually,” he said of the pain in his right foot that sometimes flares to high levels.

‘‘I’ve been getting educated on it a little bit. And nerves take longer to regenerate and heal than anything else in your body.”

The pain originated in his back and radiated down his right leg.

The foot doesn’t bother him when he hits or runs, he said, but after a lot of standing around, it can get bad. That’s why hours into Sunday’s game, he was grimacing and rose slowly after slides into second and home in the eighth inning.

‘‘It is what it is; I just move on,” he said. ‘‘Right now it’s just annoying.”


Before assuming the Cubs’ major-league-worst home-run totals suddenly are going to get better with the weather, consider that in the same early-season weather, their opponents have outhomered them 2-to-1.

In fact, if ‘‘Cubs Opponents” were a National League team, they’d rank 11th in the league, six spots ahead of the Cubs.

†Randy Wells will be available in the bullpen Wednesday, giving the Cubs eight available relievers, depending on how Maine feels.

†Second baseman Darwin Barney was out of the Cubs’ lineup for the second consecutive day, but only because Blake DeWitt is 9-for-25 (.360) with two home runs in his career against Arroyo.

The Latest
A six-month pilot program aims to speed up misconduct investigations and rebuild public trust in police, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced Wednesday.
For 22 years, she did her part to make the holiday meal work out for others. One time, she recognized the voice of the caller. It was her grandson who was away at college.
Lurid new installment of the documentary series, ‘The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes,’ plays recordings of the killer describing his depraved acts but making no attempt to explain them.
Cook County Board President Preckwinkle is offering bold spending plans, armed with roughly $1 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money. But she needs workers to pull these plans off, and faces more than 4,000 vacancies. “We’re in the midst of a staffing crisis in health care,” she warned.
We’re dropping our paywall and making it free to read the news — but we’re still counting on your support.