Well, I’ll be honest, Cubs fans: My morale has been pretty low the last few days. Even with the series win in St. Louis, I’ve been really struggling with the very existential essence of my Cubs fandom. How do you stay motivated to follow a team when it’s 19 games under .500? (Waitaminute … that can’t be right. Is that right?) I guess I should ask a Pirates fan.

In any case, I’m going to use today’s “In the News” to get us all up to date on the pain and suffering — that is, the injuries — being dealt with among the Cubs’ players.

Derrek Lee’s bulging disc has flared up again. He received an epidural yesterday (Monday) and won’t return to the lineup until Thursday at the earliest and probably not ’til Friday against the Braves. So expect to see a lot of Xavier Nady this week.  DLee’s cranky disc has become a perennial concern, which will obviously be perennial no longer if he doesn’t return to the Cubs next season.

Carlos Silva is feeling better. He threw off the mound yesterday and will do so again on Wednesday. He’s expected to make at least one rehab start before returning to the rotation after undergoing cardiac surgery last week. And, yes, I did read somewhere that Silva will return to the rotation, not the bullpen. I guess the Cubs feel he’s earned that, even though it would be kind of nice to leave a rotation slot open for rookie tryouts.

Speaking of which, Thomas Diamond is now out of the rotation. Casey Coleman is in and will be making his first start tomorrow (Wednesday) vs. those high-flying, unstoppable Padres. Oh, and I believe either Sweet Lou or Jim Hendry has gone on record saying Jeff Samardzija will get a start in September. So we’ve got that to look forward to.

Geo will take batting practice today. He’s still on the DL, recovering from a sprained ligament in his right shoulder but apparently feeling better. I wonder whether Lou will start Koyie again tonight. If so, I’d imagine Wellington “Beef” Castillo would get another start for the day game tomorrow (Wednesday).

Aramis Ramirez is, technically, not injured (though he always seems to be hurting in one way or another). He’s also not going to be an Atlanta Brave. Bruce Levine shot down a rumor floating around that the Cubs and Braves were discussing moving Aramis down south now that Chipper Jones is done for the season. It doesn’t feellike Hendry is going to move Ramirez. He’ll probably finish out his contract next season, still playing third base.

Starlin Castro is not injured. He was just resting yesterday. And he’s still awesome. And congrats to Darwin Barney on his first major league hit.

Sorry to be a little lazy with the links today. You’ll just have to trust me on most of this stuff. Mwahahahahaha.

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