Cubs take swing at solving mystery
Theorize Zambrano hurt while batting
PITTSBURGH -- Carlos Zambrano will be barred from taking batting practice for the next few weeks because the Cubs believe his elbow injury may have been from swinging the bat.
Zambrano said he felt fine after a bullpen session Wednesday and will make his next start Saturday against the White Sox.
As expected, the Cubs switched their rotation, giving Greg Maddux the start Friday in Zambrano's spot to provide Zambrano an extra day of rest.
Mark Prior will start the series finale Sunday.
The Cubs maintain Zambrano's injury is of the "non-pitching" variety caused by his swing and had nothing to do with his 136-pitch outing in his previous start.
The switch-hitting pitcher was batting left-handed Saturday against right-hander Livan Hernandez and apparently overextended his right elbow stroking a third-inning double.
"I take too many batting practices, so I have to slow down with that," Zambrano said.
"Like [manager Dusty Baker] says, I don't swing with my hips. I swing with my arms most of the time, so for now I will hit only in the game."
Baker said pitching coach Larry Rothschild remarked Zambrano's bullpen session was one of the best he has had. Zambrano said the pain in his elbow is completely gone and said he's ready to face the Sox.
He's 2-1 against the Sox with a 3.86 earned-run average.
"I'll do the best I can to pitch my game and have fun, like I always do," he said.