CHICAGO -- Veteran right-hander Rodrigo Lopez was in the bullpen at Wrigley Field on Friday a day after being traded by the Braves, but he will likely slide into the Cubs rotation on Monday and start against the Astros.
The Cubs need to make a roster move on Saturday when they activate Randy Wells from the disabled list to start against the Pirates. They are expected to send Casey Coleman to Triple-A Iowa.
Manager Mike Quade was hesitant to use Lopez out of the bullpen on Friday.
"I think we have to look at what he's been doing lately," Quade said after the game. "He wants to pitch and I'm sure he's versatile, but he's been starting all year."
Lopez, 35, didn't expect to be playing for the Cubs.
"I was surprised," Lopez said. "I was talking with my agent 10 days ago about [whether] teams were interested in me, and he said nobody was interested."
Lopez said he and his agent had talked earlier this season with the Orioles, Pirates, D-backs and Rockies, but not the Cubs.
Lopez was 6-1 with a 2.59 ERA in nine starts for Triple-A Gwinnett before being traded. He has a career 4.85 ERA in the Majors and has made 227 appearances over nine seasons, 199 as a starter.
"I've been pitching as a starter [this season]. I don't know what kind of role I will have here," Lopez said. "I work a lot of innings [and am] very durable. So far my season in Triple-A has been good, and I'm pretty comfortable right now. Wherever they need me, I'll be happy to help them out, regardless if it's the rotation or in the bullpen."
Lopez will likely throw a side session on Saturday in preparation for Monday's game.
The Cubs have been forced to piece together the rotation because of injuries to Wells, Andrew Cashner and Matt Garza. Lopez was signed to a Minor League contract by Atlanta in the offseason and acquired in exchange for a Minor League pitcher.
To make room for Lopez on the Cubs' 25-man roster, Justin Berg was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Berg had a 3.75 ERA in eight relief appearances with the Cubs. He was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in seven relief appearances with Iowa.
To create an opening on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Robert Coello was designated for assignment. Coello was 3-5 with a 7.82 ERA in nine starts with Iowa.
Watching TV a pain in the neck for Zambrano
CHICAGO -- Carlos Zambrano has experienced elbow pain from too much typing on the computer. He's had arm cramps from not taking in enough potassium, resulting in a diet of bananas, Gatorade and water. Now, the Cubs pitcher has added a new chapter to his string of bizarre injuries, though this one shouldn't keep him off the mound.
Zambrano visited the team's orthopedic specialist after pitching six innings in the Cubs' 9-3 win over the Mets on Thursday to have his stiff neck examined and to undergo an X-ray. On Friday, Zambrano said the reason for the stiffness is likely his penchant for watching TV while lying in bed.
"I always watch TV at home with my head [elevated]," said Zambrano, motioning to show how he tilts his head forward to see the TV.
Doctors told Zambrano he has a knot in his trapezoid muscle.
"Sometimes it doesn't bother me, but yesterday, it bothered me," Zambrano said. "It's nothing to worry about."
Zambrano said he has been receiving treatment over his past three to four starts. The stiffness didn't affect him on Thursday, on the mound or at the plate. He threw six innings of one-run ball and went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Manager Mike Quade said Zambrano "absolutely" will make his next start and that he didn't even know about Zambrano's neck stiffness until after Thursday's game.
Campana willing to do the little things
CHICAGO -- Rookie Tony Campana got his second start in center field on Friday as the Cubs continue to be careful with Reed Johnson.
Johnson, who has battled back problems, was batting .367 overall and .375 against lefties. Cubs manager Mike Quade said he was hoping both Johnson and Jeff Baker, who has been sidelined by a sore groin, would be available on Saturday against Pirates lefty Paul Maholm.
Campana had three hits on Thursday in his first start. Will he get more playing time?
"If he finds a way to get on base, for sure," Quade said. "He's got pretty good competition with Mr. Johnson, who has been playing well. [Campana] is fun to watch. He's such a good weapon to have for so many reasons. You saw the defense and what he can do. He's an interesting guy to have around whether he's in the lineup or on the bench."
Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita wasn't surprised at Campana's success.
"When you're a little guy like that, you have to do the things he's doing," Fleita said of the 5-foot, 8-inch outfielder. "You've got to dive into first, you've got to run into walls, you've got to get up there and fight like heck to make contact, and when you get on base, you have to drive the opposition crazy.
"He's done everything you can imagine that you have to do when you're him to prove you can play at this level. There will always be the critic who says he's too small, is he durable, is he this, is he that? I think [Campana] knows that and meets that challenge and welcomes it. I sure like watching him play. He puts a smile on your face."
Aramis Ramirez was back in the lineup on Friday after getting a day off to treat a tender left hamstring. The injury was not serious, Quade said.
Meanwhile, catcher Geovany Soto's rehab was delayed on Thursday when the Double-A Tennessee game was postponed by rain. Soto was to play on Friday and could still be activated this weekend. The original plan was to have him play at least two games for the Minor League team.
Cubs prospects showing signs of progress
CHICAGO -- Brett Jackson, the Cubs' No. 1 Draft pick in 2009 who has been rehabbing a hand injury at extended spring training in Mesa, Ariz., was expected to join Double-A Tennessee on Monday.
Is Jackson ready to come up to the big leagues?
"You have to look at what he can do when he comes up here," Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita said. "The beauty right now of Brett Jackson is he has a good eye, takes his walks, he's going to throw to the right bases and he has a good foundation that allows him to have success. He's playing good baseball, and if the opportunities come, why not?"
Entering Friday, Tyler Colvin was batting .250 in eight games with Triple-A Iowa since May 19. Colvin, who opened the season with the big league team, has one homer, one triple and four doubles so far.
"He's doing what you're supposed to do," Fleita said of the outfielder, who batted .113 in 28 games with the Cubs. "He has a great attitude. He's a realist."
Fleita said he remembers when Colvin struggled a few years ago and asked to make a switch, so he could get at-bats.
"He's not looking for any sympathy," Fleita said. "He knows he put himself in the position he's in, and he knows he'll get himself out of it."
Hayden Simpson, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2010 Draft, picked up his first professional win on Thursday with a victory over Wisconsin. He gave up two hits and struck out seven over five innings. Fleita talked to the right-hander recently and suggested two goals: Finish healthy, and establish a routine for next season.
"The last goal, which is the most important, is that he still loves the game," Fleita said.
Asked what the radar gun showed on Simpson's fastball, Fleita said he didn't know. He's asked some of the Minor League ballparks to remove the gun for certain pitchers.
"I want to know you're throwing strkes, getting guys out and creating ground balls when you pitch," Fleita said. "I haven't seen a gun get anybody out."
Carlos Zambrano went 3-for-3 and allowed two runs over six innings to earn the win on Thursday. It was the eighth game in which he recorded three or more hits and was the winning pitcher, the highest total since Bob Gibson retired in 1975 with eight such victories. Zambrano also has the most such wins in modern Cubs history (since 1900), with two more than Grover Alexander or Mordecai Brown.
Zambrano also has three more such wins than Babe Ruth, who posted a 94-46 record, primarily for the Red Sox in the 1910s, but had three or more hits in only five of them.
Matt Garza is eagerly awaiting the go-ahead from the Cubs medical staff to resume throwing. Garza, on the disabled list with a bone contusion in his right elbow, was still expected to be ready for the Cubs' series in St. Louis, which begins June 3.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. Alex Ruppenthal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.