Cubs’ Ramirez seperates shoulder, out 4-to-6 weeks

Cubs’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez separated his shoulder making a diving catch during Chicago’s 3-2 loss to the Brewers on Friday night and is expected to miss the next 4-to-6 weeks.

Ironically, the Cubs traded outfielder Joey Gathright to the Orioles in exchange for infielder Ryan Freel earlier in the day, which at least takes a little of the sting out of losing Ramirez. Freel does have experience playing third base and will likely split time there with Aaron Miles and Mike Fontenot in Ramirez’s absence.

The loss of A-Ram is a tough blow considering the Cubs just placed ace Carlos Zambrano on the disabled list less than a week ago due to a hamstring injury. Ramirez was hitting .364 with four home runs and 16 RBI before the injury, so Chicago will not only be without their No. 1 pitcher for the next couple weeks, but also one of their prominent bats.

The Cubs were 2.5 games back of the Cardinals entering Saturday’s action.

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Cubs place Carlos Zambrano on DL

The Cubs placed starter Carlos Zambrano on the 15-day disabled list after he strained his left hamstring while trying to beat out a bunt single during Chicago’s win over the Marlins on Sunday.

General manager Jim Hendry said doctors felt Zambrano would “probably need two to two-and-a-half weeks” to recover from the injury he suffered running to first base on a bunt single in the fifth inning of Sunday’s 6-4 victory over Florida.

Rather than add a pitcher, the Cubs recalled infielder Bobby Scales for the time being. “Because we don’t have to make a decision until Friday [Zambrano’s next scheduled start], and a lot of options could happen before Friday,” Hendry said.

The Cubs likey will recall a Class AAA starting pitcher for Friday’s game at Milwaukee, rather than using someone from their bullpen. “We’ll obviously have to cut back on some people’s work who have a chance to go Friday,” Hendry said of the potential minor-league call-ups.

Hendry ruled out right-hander Jeff Samardzija from making the start Friday because he has been working in relief the last 11 days. “I don’t think that’s the right thing to do for Jeff,” Hendry said.

I’m sure every Cub fan in the greater Chicago land area is thinking about one name right now: Jake Peavy.

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