2/24 Wednesday Cubs notebook

Wednesday was the first day of live batting practice for the Cubs, and 12 pitchers faced hitters during the sessions at Fitch Park. Thursday should be a little more interesting. The pitchers scheduled to throw will include Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Silva, Carlos Marmol, Ryan Dempster, and Randy Wells. It will be the first look at Silva.

“Silva is a hard worker, there’s no question about it,” Lou Piniella said of the right-hander. “He might be a hard eater — I’m only joking. He comes out here and works hard. I’m not surprised but very encouraged from what I see.”

The pitchers definitely had the edge on Wednesday.

“A few of [the batters] migrated and they became ‘cagey’ hitters today,” Piniella said.

* If something happened to Ryan Theriot, Piniella said he wouldn’t be afraid to call up 19-year-old Starlin Castro.

“First of all, he’s highly touted,” Piniella said of the teen shortstop. “The kid, he’s got a ton of ability, obviously, and I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again, but the good ones come really quick. Age to me is not [a factor]. The player will let you know if he’s ready or not and we’ll see that here in Spring Training. I’ve got to play him, we have to play him to see. If the kid shows he can handle it, and we had an injury at [shortstop], why not?”

* Ted Lilly missed his second day of camp. He’s battling a fever.

— Carrie Muskat

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