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


Hello Carrie,
Not to change the subject but what do you think the Cubs will do in regard to a LHP in the bullpen? Clearly Lou has had about all he can take of Cotts. It tears him up to have to put him in the game. I don’t see Marshall as an effective reliever since it usually takes him an inning or two to find himself then he is okay. That’s starter material. Marshall has not been to effective in relief in the past either. Scott Eyres was traded and picked up a World Series ring. Stanton was okay in spring training and could get his slider over unlike Cotts. Is there anyone in Iowa? Putting all injuries aside which get the headlines, I believe this is a crucial area that has not been addressed much and would be a good topic for a rainey day. Keep up the good work.

Yeah, Carrie, Lee was ready to go and strike out numerous times! Let’s face it we got lucky with the win because we have a lack of power. Hoff-power. I think it’s time Lou considered platooning Lee and Hoffpauir. Lee’s definitely not ready to play and I see him on his way down.

Jahaus makes some good points about pitching and some really bad decisions on the part of the front office. Do we have anything good coming up from our farm system? Sure when we do have success, the powers that be make crazy decisions (or should we say non-decisions and flip-flops) like they did with Prior and now messing with Samardzija.

You are right on cubbeeblue, Hoff has hown he is deserving of AT LEAST a platoon at 1b and Lee has showed he is desrving of the same, if not bench time. Wouldn’t it be more hopeful to see a platoon at 1b of Hoff and Jake Fox? What’s it gonna take? This club (Hendry) is too salary driven and now they are putting Lee’s salary in the way of player development. For all you Lee backers…I like Lee, it’s a fact of life he is showing his age, slowing down, displaying chronic injury etc. it’s just time to play some younger guys WHILE THEY ARE DISPLAYING THEY CAN PLAY AND CONTRIBUTE. I don’t think Hendry is doing Lee any favors by keeping him on this team and I don’t think Lou is doing any good by trotting him out on the field while in such a slump. How about at least some bench time to rest, heal, think, practice etc. (like he did with Fukodome last year) and take a look at Hoff and Fox, especially in light of the lack of power we now face with Ramirez gone for at least a month, maybe more and maybe returning at a slower pace. The timing is right and both Hendry and Lou should realize it. Hoff won’t be a defensive upgrade but he sure has shown he is at least capable of defending 1b and he is good for making contact, putting the ball in play, DRIVING the ball…something we are not getting from Lee. Sure he’ll have is 0 for 4 days but I bet they will be few and far between, he seems to display a penchant for hitting well.

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