Zambrano Pitches in out of the Pen

Article excerpt

Byline: Bruce Miles

DENVER -- To no one's surprise, Carlos Zambrano expressed his willingness, if not outright desire, to go back into the Cubs' starting rotation.

Acting manager Alan Trammell deferred that decision to his boss, Lou Piniella, who will rejoin the team Tuesday after attending a family funeral.

For now, moving Zambrano back to the rotation is not in the plans for the immediate future.

However Trammell gave credit to Zambrano for volunteering to pick up innings after starter Carlos Silva left Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Rockies with an abnormal heartbeat.

Zambrano wound up throwing 53 pitches in 2 innings; he was the third Cubs pitcher to enter the game.

"After that happened, I went to the bullpen because I said they may need me for 3 or 4 innings," said Zambrano, who appeared in Saturday's and Sunday's games, fresh off a monthlong hiatus that included anger-management treatment. "I'm prepared to do anything here."

Zambrano deferred to Piniella about when he could start. It may not be out of the realm of possibility that he could take Silva's next turn over the weekend if Silva is still ailing.

"I think it just goes to show you what the comment was yesterday about him feeling better about himself, being part of the team," Trammell said. "And that's a good sign. I know where his heart is, and how can you fault him for that? …