Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who hasn’t pitched for the Cubs since June 25 when he exploded on his teammates after an inning of terrible work. He’s been working out in Mesa, Arizona – in conjunction with his recently-completed anger management counselling – and is expected to start throwing in games this week.

Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, on the restricted list to undergo treatment for anger issues, will throw a simulated game Monday in Mesa, Ariz., and could throw in games this week for Triple-A Iowa.

However, Zambrano was not expected to join the Cubs during this homestand, which ends next weekend with a series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

“He’s missed a lot [of time],” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of Zambrano. “I would think [he’ll come back] sometime on the road trip.”

Zambrano has been working out since last Thursday in Mesa at the team’s facility. He threw about 25 pitches on the side in his first outing. Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild and athletic trainer Mark O’Neal are monitoring his program. cubs.com.

When Z finally does return, he’ll head to the bullpen (unless, of course, a spot in the rotation has been opened up by trade or injury). His teammates are expected to put on brave faces, and welcome Zambrano back with open arms.

Derrek Lee – the focal point of Zambrano’s original wrath – told Paul Sullivan that what happened is in the past.

“It’s going to be fine,” Lee said. “He’s going to come back and help us. Now it’s in the past. It’s over with and we’ll all be fine. You always want to get along with all your teammates. It’s not a fun situation, but it happens. You deal with it and move on.”

“The guy has been my teammate since I’ve been here in ’04. Carlos and I are friends. It’s like family. You argue with the family, and you get over it.”

  • pfk

    I heard that during the simulated game, Zambrano felt he got a bad call and beat the heck out of everybody. Then, when he was told he had to go to Iowa, he destroyed the clubhouse in Mesa.

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