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Cubs Closer Beck Out 2 Weeks

Chicago Cubs closer Rod Beck will be sidelined at least two weeks with a bulging disk in his back.

Beck, 30, said it happened before spring training while throwing on his own. But manager Jim Riggleman is not ready to adjust the bullpen to annoint a new closer, since Cubs doctors feel the ailment is not serious.

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  • "Right now we're not going to look for any of our guys to step up and be the closer," said on a radio show. "We have four weeks left until Opening Day and we're hopeful that Rod will be ready to take the ball if we need him in Houston April 6."

    Chicago general manager Ed Lynch told the station that the medical staff feels it has the injury under control and described the treatment.

    "Doctors told us they want to shut him down for two weeks and to use an oral medication and rest as the first form of treatment," Lynch said. "According to the doctors, 85 percent of the people with this problem respond to this kind of treatment."

    Beck recorded a career-high 51 saves for the National League wild card winners last season. He was 3-4 with a 3.02 ERA, allowing 86 hits and 20 walks with 81 strikeouts.

    Since 1996, Beck is second to San Diego's Trevor Hoffman among major leaguers with 123 saves. His 85.2 percent save conversion ratio from 1994-98 ranks sixth.

    For his career, the three-time All-Star is 24-32 with 250 saves and a 2.98 ERA in 497 appearances with the Cubs and San Francisco Giants. He has surpassed the 30-save plateau six times.

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