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Baseball briefs: Cubs open to Piniella

The Chicago Cubs will listen to manager Lou Piniella if he wants to return when his contract runs out after this season. Piniella is in the fourth and final year of his contract. He led the Cubs to a pair of division titles before they slumped to 83-78 last season. Piniella has said he doesn't want his job status to be a daily topic of conversation or a distraction. He'll turn 67 in August.

Berkman out 2-4 weeks

Houston Astros All-Star first baseman Lance Berkman, 34, will have minor surgery on his left knee Saturday and miss two-to-four weeks, a recovery period that could sideline him for opening day. He injured his knee during a baserunning drill March 1.

Availability updates

Atlanta Braves righthander Jair Jurrjens threw two scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jurrjens, who was supposed to start Wednesday against the Yankees, had been struggling with inflammation around his right shoulder . . . Rockies closer Huston Street says his 20-pitch performance in batting practice went well and his right shoulder felt fine. He had experienced inflammation in the shoulder. Street converted 35 of 37 save chances last season . . . Chicago White Sox outfield prospect Jared Mitchell sprained his right ankle while making a spectacular, against-the-wall catch against the Los Angeles Angels. Mitchell was carted off the field and taken to the hospital for X-rays . . . The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking into contingency plans while reliever Ronald Belisario tries to report to camp. Belisario has been unable to secure a visa for the 2010 season and remains in his native Venezuela. The righthander went 4-3 with a 2.04 ERA in 69 games as a rookie last year.- AP

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