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Though Carlos Zambrano is being moved back to the Chicago Cubs’ rotation, he’ll be available out of the bullpen until at least this Saturday – the second game of a critical series against the Cardinals.

Carlos Zambrano will be back in the Cubs bullpen Thursday through Saturday before he is inserted into the rotation again. Who gets bumped has yet to be revealed.

“We have a pretty good idea of what we’re going to do,” Lou Piniella said. “We’ll use Carlos in the bullpen in the St. Louis series [this weekend] and then we’ll insert him into the rotation.” Muskat Ramblings.

This is a very good decision by the Cubs – Zambrano threw 73 pitches in a simulated game on Monday, saying he felt great. He doesn’t need to sit around all week in order to be ready to go next week. And since he was told he was heading back to the rotation, he’s been nails out of the bullpen – might as well get some mileage out of the phenomenon.

Interestingly, if Zambrano pitches on Saturday, would he be ready to go by Monday in order to replace Tom Gorzelanny in the rotation? Ted Lilly is slated to go on Tuesday, and then Randy Wells on Wednesday. With no off-day in between, there can be little rotational shuffling.

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