Carlos Zambrano issued a pre-emptive apology today to fans for what they're going to see out of him when he returns from the disabled list in a week.
Already ``100 percent'' and ``ready to pitch,'' Zambrano said he won't be running hard on the bases for about a month after his return - per doctors' orders to protect his healing hamstring but against his playing nature.
``I'll be running like Geo Soto or Bengie Molina,'' said Zambrano, who took fielding practice without incident before today's game and is scheduled to make a Class A rehab start Sunday. ``I'll be running nice and easy and just taking my time and not hustling for now. And I apologize to the Cubs fans for [that]. But it's one thing to not hustle and another thing to not play good. I will still perform as good. I will try to do everything right.''
But after that first month back, he said, ``you will see me running like Juan Pierre or Jose Reyes.''
Zambrano, scheduled to make his return from the DL next Friday in San Diego, said none of the restrictions will affect how - or presumably how hard - he swings the bat: ``When you can hit, you can hit.''