4/8 Lilly pushed back; pitching tweaked

Ted Lilly was scheduled to pitch Friday for Triple-A Iowa but was pushed back to Sunday because of some stiffness in his back. Lou Piniella said Thursday the problem isn’t serious. Lilly is rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, which he had last November. He was to make two more Minor League starts before given the go-ahead to join the Cubs rotation in mid April.

“This is not a setback,” Piniella said of Lilly’s back soreness.

The lefty last pitched Sunday in Mesa, Ariz., in the Cubs’ Minor League camp and threw 67 pitches over 5 2/3 innings.

* The Cubs also have tweaked their rotation. The plan is to keep Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells on a five-day rotation. That means Zambrano start Saturday rather than lefty Tom Gorzelanny. The other aspect of this plan was that the Cubs wanted  right-handers to face the Milwaukee Brewers next week at Wrigley Field.

Carlos Silva will make his first start for the Cubs on Friday in Cincinnati, followed by Zambrano and then Gorzelanny. Ryan Dempster will get the call for the home opener Monday and be followed by Randy Wells and then Zambrano.

“Then we’ll go from there,” Piniella said.

– Carrie Muskat

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