Pitcher recovering from Achilles' injury

Updated: March 23, 2004, 8:10 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Chicago Cubs: Pitcher Mark Prior expects to miss his first start of the season as he recovers from an inflamed right Achilles' tendon.

Prior was scheduled to pitch Chicago's third game on April 8 at Cincinnati. The Cubs start the season with six road games -- three against the Reds, then three at Atlanta.

"I'd be happy with the first homestand or the end of the first road trip," Prior said Monday. "That would be the most optimistic."

Prior threw 50 pitches Monday, 35 off the mound and 15 on the side.

"It felt fine," Prior said. "I'm just tired. I'm trying to get back into shape and trying to work my pitch counts up."

Cleveland Indians: The Indians are meeting with free-agent Ugueth Urbina, four days after losing closer Bob Wickman for at least half the season.

Urbina, who helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series last season, took a physical for the Indians on Monday.

"We are not at the stage where we are discussing terms, nor are we anywhere close to it," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said.

The 30-year-old Urbina was 3-4 with a 2.81 ERA last season and converted 32 of 38 save opportunities for Texas and Florida. He saved four games for Florida during the postseason.

Pittsburgh and Minnesota reportedly made offers that did not approach what Urbina was hoping to be paid. He earned $4.5 million last year.

Peter Greenberg, the pitcher's agent, did not return a telephone message.

Wickman, recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery, has a sprained right elbow and will not pitch again until at least after the All-Star break.

Right-handed setup man David Riske is expected to be given an opportunity to replace Wickman.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.