carlos zambrano crazyBy the time Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano returns to the team, following his placement on the restricted list so that he can get anger management counseling (you just can’t make this shit up, can you?), he won’t have pitched for some three weeks. Even though he’s ticketed for a bullpen return, he still may need a couple of minor league tune-up games before coming back.

Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano’s next step after completing a treatment program may include a minor-league rehab assignment, according to manager Lou Piniella.

“I don’t think we’ve gotten that far, but I would think that he’ll need to go and pitch a little bit somewhere,” Piniella said Thursday. “It’s going to be probably three weeks or so … that’s a long time just not to do anything. I would think he would need a little work somewhere, yeah. But that subject hasn’t been brought up yet.”

Zambrano, currently on the restricted list, will not rejoin the team until July 15 at the earliest. ESPN Chicago.

What remains to be seen is how quickly he’s accepted back into the fold when he does return. You may recall that, when Z was placed in the bullpen earlier this year, he often did not actually sit out in the bullpen – instead, he frequently sat in the dugout, where he would have sat were he still in the rotation. Does he still do that now? Or does he suck it up and head out the bullpen to sit during the games? That’s a minor issues, obviously, but it could say a lot about where his head is at.