CHICAGO Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano has right rotator cuff tendinitis and inflammation, an MRI confirmed Thursday, a potential obstacle to Chicago's chances of winning the World Series for the first time in a century.
Zambrano received a shot of anti-inflammatory medication and hopes to return to the rotation next week.
General manager Jim Hendry said Zambrano hopes to start throwing again when the team begins a series in St. Louis on Sept. 10. If all goes well, Zambrano would start at Houston in the following series.
Zambrano, 13-5 this year, left his start Tuesday night against the Astros after five innings, saying he did not feel well. He was examined Wednesday by team orthopedist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo.
Zambrano is 1-1 over his last six starts and has made it past the fifth inning only twice.
Sean Marshall will start in Zambrano's place this Sunday at Cincinnati. The Cubs began the day with a 4 1/2-game lead in the NL Central and have 22 games remaining, including 16 on the road.
"Hopefully he will be just missing this one start," Hendry said. "I think it's a relief that Z doesn't have anything more significant than what we thought."
Zambrano was on the disabled list in June with a sore shoulder.
"Obviously Dr. Gryzlo has been right on with all his evaluations," Hendry said. "He felt this was not going to be a significant problem, not a situation where he had to put on the DL."
ABREU SCRATCHED WITH SORE WRIST: New York Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu was removed from the starting lineup for Thursday night's game against Tampa Bay due to a sore left wrist.
Abreu was hurt while sliding into second during a stolen base in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 8-4 victory over the Rays. X-rays were negatives, and the Yankees said Abreu is day to day.
"His wrist hurts," New York general manager Brian Cashman said.
Abreu had the wrist wrapped after the Yankees were beat 7-5 in Thursday's game. He had minor discomfort after his slide Wednesday and was surprised by the amount of pain when he hit in a batting cage Thursday.
"When I tried to hit, it was very painful," Abreu said. "I'm going to see (Friday) how I'm going to feel hitting in the cage and see if I can play. We're just going to go day to day. The X-ray was good. No broken things in there."
The Yankees plan to recall outfielder Melky Cabrera from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and have him join the team for today's game at Seattle.
Abreu is hitting .301 with 15 homers and 84 RBIs in 136 games. He was felt soreness in the wrist when he started pregame drills on Thursday.
The Yankees also rested Hideki Matsui, who had been the designated hitter in 15 straight games after being activated from the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 19. He had been sidelined by an injured left knee, which likely need surgery after the season.
"He's hung in there for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Matsui, through an interpreter, said he has had no issues with his knee since rejoining the team.
"I'm happy with how it's performing," Matsui said. "Not giving me any problems."
Girardi said Matsui, who pinch hit in the ninth, is expected to play in the final six games of the Yankees' 10-game trip.
PHILLIES' COACH SUSPENDED 2 GAMES: Philadelphia Phillies third-base coach Steve Smith was suspended Thursday for two games and fined because of an argument with umpires during a game in Chicago last week.
On Aug. 29, Philadelphia put runners at the corners with two outs in the top of the seventh before Ryan Howard's hard grounder went off the Cubs' Derrek Lee.
The first baseman retrieved the ball, tossed to pitcher Jeff Samardzija covering the bag and first base umpire Chris Guccione called Howard out. Smith and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel argued with Guccione and plate umpire Bill Welke, and Smith was ejected by Welke.
FORMER INFIELDER TODD CRUZ DEAD AT 52: Todd Cruz, an infielder with the 1983 world champion Baltimore Orioles, has died. He was 52.
Cruz died Tuesday while swimming at the apartment complex in which he lived in Bullhead City, Ariz. The cause of death is pending results of an autopsy conducted by the Mohave County Medical Examiner's Office.
Cruz played with six major league teams from 1978 to 1984. He broke into the big leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies, then played with Kansas City, the California Angels and Chicago White Sox from 1979-80. He did not play in the majors in 1981, but the following season participated in 136 games with Seattle.
He was traded by the Mariners to the Orioles in the middle of the 1983 season and batted .208 as Baltimore's third baseman. In the World Series against Philadelphia, won in five games by the Orioles, Cruz went 2-for-16 and scored a run.
He served as a utility infielder with the Orioles in 1984, his final major league season. He also pitched in a game, throwing a scoreless inning against New York in a 10-2 loss on Sept. 18.
Cruz had a lifetime .220 batting average in 544 games. He had 336 hits, including 34 home runs, and finished with 154 RBIs.
His most active season was 1983, when he played in 65 games Seattle and 81 with Baltimore. He finished with a .199 batting average that year.
Bullhead City Fire Department spokesman Larry Tunforss said bystanders pulled Cruz from the pool and were performing CPR when three city paramedics arrived. They took over life-saving efforts and transported him to a hospital.
Mohave County Medical Examiner Dr. Rexene Worrell said it will take about two weeks before an autopsy report on Cruz is completed and an exact cause of death confirmed.
Cruz is survived by a sister, Sharon Maceri, and two sons, Thaddeus and Dario.