The Chicago Cubs activated Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood from the disabled list Thursday and optioned Randy Wells and Scott Maine to Triple-A Iowa.

Dempster starts against the Reds on his birthday, facing another birthday boy in Homer Bailey.

Manager Dale Sveum said he would use Wood "in less stressful situations, a sixth or seventh inning type of thing" for the time being.

Maine had a 1.59 earned-run average in five appearances, but was the victim of a numbers game. The Cubs must keep Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo, who hasn't pitched since April 20, and newly acquired Michael Bowden is out of options.

"Those are the unfortunate things in this game that happen, because he did a really good job while he was here," Sveum said of Maine. "It's very nice to have those two lefties in the bullpen."

Wells gave up nine hits and nine walks in two starts covering 8 2/3 innings. Asked if Wells had a future with the Cubs, Sveum replied: "He's got a future. We can't sit here and promise anything. Right now that's the role he (has) -- the swingman coming up when we need starts."

Sveum said there was nowhere in the bullpen to put Wells, and they aren't in need of a long man.

"There's just no options, no spots to do that," he said. "We're pretty fortunate to have everybody in the bullpen, besides Wood, be able to throw two innings."
Wells, Maine sent to Iowa as Wood, Dempster activated -