Fukudome, Cintron leave game early
Japanese import should be back in the lineup on Wednesday
MESA, Ariz. -- Nobody told Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome that he'd have to deal with a few bruises as well as learn the pitching in his transition to the Major Leagues.
In the sixth inning on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals, Fukudome walked and stole second, but was hit on the left side of his neck by the throw from catcher Matt Tupman. He was lifted for a pinch-runner as a precautionary measure.
On Saturday against the Chicago White Sox, Fukudome was flipped in a collision while running to second base.
"[Ryan] Theriot said I'm like a magnet," Fukudome said through interpreter Ryuji Araki. "Accidents keep coming to me."
He has fared better than Alex Cintron. He was hit on the side of his face by a foul ball while standing in the on-deck circle on Friday. On Tuesday, Cintron pulled up running to first because of a sore left hamstring.
"I got hit with a baseball, and I was lucky to be back on the field," Cintron said. "I had a nice at-bat and got a base hit, and felt a cramp. I've never had problems with my legs in my career. Hopefully, two, three days at the most. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll feel OK. It's frustrating."
Cubs manager Lou Piniella expected Fukudome to be back in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Oakland Athletics, but Cintron could be sidelined a few days.
Fukudome is sharing a 35-ounce bat he uses in batting practice. By swinging the model in BP, he builds up arm strength. Ronny Cedeno tested a Fukudome 35-inch, 35-ounce model on Tuesday. Maybe there's something to it. Cedeno went 3-for-3, including a game-tying RBI triple in the ninth.
"I used it when I was in Japan," said Alfonso Soriano, who uses a heavy 33-ounce bat in the regular season. "It helped my wrists."
Fukudome spent his off-day Monday playing golf at the TPC Course in Scottsdale, shooting a very respectable 39-39--78.
"I can't be Tiger Woods yet," he said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.