CHICAGO (AP) -Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, one of the Chicago Cubs' hottest hitters during the first eight games, was out of the lineup with a swollen right wrist Friday and was sent to a hand specialist to be examined.
Ramirez had jammed the wrist in spring training but had shown no effects in the early going this season, batting .406 with a homer and five RBIs.
``Let's hope it's not serious, but he's got a lot of swelling,'' manager Lou Piniella said Friday before the Cubs opened a three-game home series against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cubs haven't played in two days. Their Wednesday game with Houston was postponed by snow and rain and they had an off-day Thursday. But when Ramirez came to the clubhouse Friday, his wrist was swollen.
Second baseman Mark DeRosa was also out of the starting lineup after his back locked up but was available for emergency duty.
Right-hander Mark Prior, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa at the end of spring training and then put on that team's disabled list, was scheduled to see orthopedic specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Friday afternoon. Prior had to leave his first start of extended spring training Thursday with shoulder soreness.
``It's disappointing you know. We were hoping to get him on track,'' Piniella said.
The Cubs' other often-injured right-hander Kerry Wood, who started the season on the disabled list, visited Dr. Dave Altchek, an orthopedic specialist with the New York Mets.
Wood was told he has tendinitis but does not need surgery, general manager Jim Hendry said.
Wood, who chose over the offseason to rehab a partially torn rotator cuff, has been sent back to Arizona. Hendry said the Cubs' hope is to get Wood's shoulder pain free, so he can resume throwing as soon as possible.
Wood threw 18 pitches in his last spring training outing out of the bullpen March 25. His arm felt weak when he left that game and the shoulder stiffened up more than usual the next day.

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