4/1 Quick hits
Carlos Zambrano was to pitch three innings on Wednesday, and then continue as the Cubs’ designated hitter after he was finished — if the A’s agree. Zambrano apparently wanted to work on his hitting in his last tuneup before the regular season. The Opening Day starter, Big Z was batting .444 in five games this spring.
- Ted Lilly will go with the Cubs to New York for the two-game exhibition series at new Yankee Stadium. Lilly will start Friday, but the forecast calls for rain. If Lilly’s outing is rained out, he’ll throw in the batting cages there.
- Aaron Miles started at second Wednesday against Oakland lefty Dallas Braden but Lou Piniella wasn’t sure what he’ll do at second when a lefty starts. We’ll find out next Tuesday when the Astros start lefty Wandy Rodriguez.
- Piniella wasn’t too worried about getting Micah Hoffpauir enough at-bats to keep him sharp. Hoffpauir will have to learn how to hit off the bench. “If we have to rely on too many pinch-hitters, it means we have some problems,” Piniella said. Hoffpauir leads the Majors this spring with 26 RBIs.
- Ryan Dempster will start Thursday in the Arizona finale at HoHoKam Park.
- Wednesday was Day 48 in the desert for the Cubs. “We’ve been here too long,” Piniella said. “Arizona is a wonderful state, we’ve enjoyed it, but it’s time to get back to the Midwest and start our season.”
— Carrie Muskat