3/21 Quick hits

Rich Harden, who was scratched from Friday’s game, will throw 70-75 pitches in the Cubs’ Minor League camp on Wednesday. That’s an off day for the rest of the team. If Harden needs more time, Lou Piniella said they could flip flop the right-hander with Sean Marshall in the rotation. The Cubs don’t need a fifth starter until April 16 vs. St. Louis.

Other noteworthy items:

  • Ted Lilly is not scheduled to start for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, but is staying with the team in case a game goes extra innings. Lilly was expected back in Arizona on Tuesday, and will throw a simulated game that day.
  • Piniella said Geovany Soto appears to be a little behind the others in camp. Soto was with the Puerto Rican team in the Classic. The catcher stayed back on Saturday to work on his hitting — and he may have to get back on his diet. Piniella said Soto appeared to have gained some weight. “This hot weather, especially catching back to back, it shouldn’t be a problem at all,” Piniella said.
  • Derrek Lee is on track to return to the lineup Sunday. Team USA apparently contacted the Cubs to try and get Lee to play in the semifinal Sunday night. Lee has not played since last Monday because of a sore right thigh.

— Carrie Muskat

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