Hendry: DL for Zambrano not a major thing
There was no kicking or screaming Friday from Carlos Zambrano as the Cubs placed him on the 15-day disabled list with lower-back soreness.
And Zambrano looked positively like the voice of reason after a mini-media tempest about his appearance Thursday night at a softball game after coming out of the afternoon's game and going to the hospital for tests.
As for the important stuff, Zambrano will miss his next 2 starts before the all-star break, but the Cubs want him to get healthy. Besides, he had an epidural injection Friday, and that itself will limit his physical activity.
It's likely the Cubs will call up veteran right-hander Ramon Ortiz from Class AAA Iowa to take Zambrano's spot.
"Really not a major thing," said Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. "He could probably, almost for certain, pitch before the break. He's had this (back problem in the past). Once it's fixed, he's been strong the rest of the year."
Zambrano said he felt good, even though he didn't want to go on the DL. He has been battling the back problem for the last "2 or 3 starts." It forced him out of Thursday's game in the second inning.
"It's not fun to be on the DL," he said. "I want to have a nice and clear season this year. Anytime that I go to the DL, believe me, it makes me angry. But I know the Cubs do it for a reason. I appreciate that, too."
As for the silliness, Zambrano attended the Chicago Bandits softball game in Rosemont on Thursday night to fulfill a commitment to charity work. He also threw out a ceremonial first pitch, a pitch he said was about 10 mph in speed. That didn't stop some in the media for criticizing him.
Cubs management stuck behind Zambrano, with Hendry calling it "really sad" that anybody would criticize him for doing charity work and field manager Mike Quade calling it "much ado about nothing."
"What's the problem with that?" Zambrano asked. "I was doing (work for) my foundation. I support softball teams. I support baseball teams in Humboldt Park and different areas of Chicago. There's nothing wrong with that. It's not that I was in a wheelchair or I wasn't able to walk anymore.
"I had this set up through my foundation a long time ago. If I don't go, they criticize me, too."
Zambrano said it's difficult for him to go out in Chicago.
"Chicago's a big town, but it's a small town," he said. "You can't hide in Chicago. That's why I don't go out. I stay at home, and I enjoy my family.
"That's why I keep my self at home -- too many paparazzi in Chicago."
Pitcher Andrew Cashner said he is another 10 days away from throwing again. Cashner (rotator-cuff strain) has been on the DL since early April. He saw the team doctor earlier this week and was hoping to play catch Friday.
He had been rehabbing in Arizona, where he suffered one setback earlier.
"I went to the doctor yesterday, and he said it's about 90 percent healed," he said. "They're just being cautious. It's a good thing, but I'm a little frustrated because my arm's not healing the way I'd like it to. It's only 10 more days of no throwing.
"There's no doubt in my mind that I'll pitch this year."
It's possible center fielder Marlon Byrd (facial fractures) could come off the DL this weekend instead of waiting until Monday.
Aramis Ramirez's sixth-inning home run was the 300th of his career.
"It's good because it's something that I worked for," Ramirez said. "We would have felt a lot better if we would have won the game."