Carlos Zambano likely to rejoin rotation

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Lou Piniella is looking for a way to reinsert right-handed pitcher Carlos Zambrano into the team's depleted rotation. That move could come as early as next week in San Francisco.

Zambrano had back-to-back outings on Saturday and Sunday in Colorado. On Sunday, he threw 53 pitches in a two-inning relief stint, during which he surrendered two runs and four hits.

"He got some pitches [in over the weekend]," Piniella said. "He got some stretching out on Sunday. Yeah, we're going to talk about [the rotation spot], and we'll have something for [the media] no later than Friday."

Piniella said that Zambrano would be available out of the bullpen Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Cubs have two vacant spots in the rotation due to the fact that Ted Lilly was traded to the Dodgers and Carlos Silva was put on the DL with heart issues.

Zambrano's last start was June 25 against the White Sox. The 29-year-old gave up four runs in the first inning of that game then had a meltdown on the Cubs' bench, which included a face-to-face confrontation with Derrek Lee.

Zambrano was removed from the game by Piniella. After the game, he was suspended by general manager Jim Hendry. In a negotiated deal with the players association, Zambrano was put on baseball's restricted list June 29 and began treatment for anger management issues.

Zambrano was activated to the roster on July 30.

Bruce Levine covers Major League Baseball for ESPNChicago.com.