5/12 Lineup & Quick hits
Derrek Lee is back in the Cubs’ lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Padres. “He’s ready to go,” Lou Piniella said of Lee, who has not played since May 5 because of a bulging disk. It’ll be LF Soriano, SS Theriot, CF Fukudome, 1B Lee, RF Bradley, 3B Fontenot, C Soto, 2B Miles and P Harden.
* Ryan Dempster will start Thursday in the series finale against the Padres followed by Randy Wells on Friday and Sean Marshall on Saturday.
* No word on Milton Bradley’s appeal of his two-game suspension.
* Carlos Zambrano will make a rehab start in Clearwater, Fla., either Saturday or Sunday. Zambrano, on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, was to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. He’ll do some fielding exercises on Thursday, and if he passes all the tests, he’ll join the Class A Daytona team. Zambrano was hitting the ball well in batting practice Tuesday.
Zambrano would then be in line to pitch in the Cubs’ series in San Diego, and most likely return to action on May 22.
When Zambrano does return, the Cubs will then decide what to do with Wells and Marshall. Piniella said one would stay in the rotation, the other would go to the bullpen. “That’s the biggest chore we have here is to put together a solid bullpen that can function for the rest of the summer,” Piniella said.
* Expect Mike Fontenot and Ryan Freel to share third base as the Cubs try to get by without Aramis Ramirez, who is on the DL. “We’re not going to put anybody over there with Ramirez’s power, but we can play a little different game,” Piniella said. The Cubs manager also wouldn’t mind if one of the two made a case to keep the job. “There’s nothing wrong with that either,” Piniella said. “I welcome it, actually.” Expect Freel to start Wednesday night.
* Piniella was surprised to hear that Major League Baseball will review the Ryan Dempster-Ryan Braun at-bat from Saturday’s game. Milwaukee manager Ken Macha accused Dempster of throwing at Braun’s head. “We never even gave it a second thought,” Piniella said. “I don’t have an understanding for that situation. I read something about it today and it surprised the heck out of me.”
– Carrie Muskat