MESA, Ariz. _ A mustachioed Carlos Zambrano showed up today and said he's still looking into the possibility of having laser surgery on his right eye. That hasn't happened yet, partially because he's using eyedrops for an infection. The problem, according to Big Z, is that the shape of the eye area in question is more "like a football" and not rounded. He said any such surgery could keep him out two weeks. Along those lines, he said he is not planning on playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
Speaking of the mustache, Big Z said Lou told him it makes him look more intimidating. To whom, we're not quite sure.
Earlier, Zambrano took his cuts in the covered cage with catcher Geovany Soto, calling Soto "the rookie of the last year."
We'll have more details in the paper tomorrow (and on the Web site later today), but here are some of the other highlights on pitchers-and-catchers-report day:
--Lou gave every indication that Alfonso Soriano will be the leadoff hitter, citing the two division titles in a row the Cubs have won with Soriano at leadoff.
--Kosuke Fukudome won't be here until mid-March because of the WBC. He is playing for Japan, but Hendry says the Cubs are monitoring hsi progress in Asia.
--Lou isn't sure who will pitch on Opening Day. Big Z hasn't had much luck in recent years. Ryan Dempster is a possibility. Lou expressed regret that the Cubs didn't get to Ted Lilly in the NLDS last year, and he jokingly said Lilly might start. At least it sounded "jokingly."
--Hendry said reliever Kevin Gregg is fine after last year's knee surgery but that the Cubs may take it easy on Gregg during pitchers' fielding practice (PFPs) and in moving laterally.
--Joey Gathright and Jake Fox are here among position players.