NL Notes: Chicago hope

Each week, we take a look at some of the top stories and trends in the National League and how such topics will affect your fantasy baseball strategy in 2006.

UPDATE (March 17): Mark Prior has a strained right shoulder and is expected to miss the beginning of the season. The Cubs' official site says he will be shut down from throwing for seven to 10 days. He will not require surgery, and the team will decide on his next course of action on Saturday. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Prior will not start on April 5 as previously expected, and the team plans to go with a four-man rotation until April 15.

UPDATE (March 15): After experiencing soreness in his right shoulder during a throwing session Tuesday, Mark Prior will consult with a specialist on Wednesday. His shoulder flared up during long tossing and he never pitched off the mound as planned. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild now has no timetable on when Prior will make his first exhibition start.