Carlos Zambrano's return start pushed to Friday

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Carlos Zambrano was supposed to rejoin the Cubs’ rotation yesterday, but because the game against the Pirates was rained out his return start has now been pushed back to tomorrow against the Astros (today is an off day).
He’ll presumably still be limited to around 90 pitches, but Zambrano goes from facing the second-worst offense in the league to facing the worst offense in the league. Pittsburgh is averaging 3.2 runs per game and Houston is averaging 3.1 runs per game, and no other NL team is below 4.1.
Lou Piniella said he’s not sure yet how to further rearrange the rotation, but explained: “Our preference I think would be just to get Zambrano right on the mound pitching.”

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”