8/25 Quick hits
GM Jim Hendry wasn’t concerned about Carlos Zambrano’s recent back problems or rumors about where he’s been tuning up for his return on Tuesday.
“He does his work,” Hendry said of Zambrano, activated from the DL Tuesday. “It’s not like we’re not on top of his work. He’s been on the DL very few times in his life. He’s had a lot of innings over his career of a guy 28-years-old. He’s been a very durable guy — you couldn’t do that without good conditioning. He’s getting to the point where he probably has to do more.”
Zambrano did take batting practice. It’s part of the prep work.
“You play in the National League and you have to hit,” Hendry said.
Apparently, there were rumors that Zambrano was playing softball while the Cubs were on the West Coast. That was news to Hendry.
“When you’re not winning, all of a sudden the things that used to be positive and great, like ‘Oh, Big Z, he’s out playing soccer in the community’ a couple years ago and ‘Isn’t that awesome,’” Hendry said. “When you’re winning 18 games and a division title, those things are great. I don’t know if those [rumors] are true — I didn’t ask him today. I’m assuming he’s ready to pitch. I think he knows how to take care of himself off the field.”
* Expect the Cubs to call up eight players on Sept. 1 when rosters expand, including pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Most of the youngsters who will be called up have been with the big league team already this season.
* Reed Johnson was able to take batting practice, but is not able to run at all on his fractured left foot. It’s been difficult being sidelined.
“Watching is tough,” Johnson said. “When you’re not there and not a part of it, you know there’s nothing you can do sitting at home on the couch. It’s definitely frustrating to watch.”
* The Cubs Wives will host a food drive Saturday at Wrigley Field. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable items.
– Carrie Muskat