7/4/2013 8:30 P.M. ET
Villanueva set to return to rotation Sunday
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Carlos Villanueva will be back in the Cubs rotation, starting on Sunday in the series finale against the Pirates.
Villanueva was 1-3 with a 3.93 ERA in eight starts, and then moved to the bullpen when Matt Garza was activated off the disabled list. He has compiled a 2.04 ERA in 16 relief appearances.
Because the right-hander hasn't started since May 14, he'll be limited to 60-70 pitches on Sunday, and the rest of the Cubs bullpen will back him up. Manager Dale Sveum said Thursday they may make a roster move if the bullpen gets overworked in three games leading up to Sunday.
"If it's fresh and no stress out there, we'll just wing it," Sveum said.
Villanueva won a spot in the rotation this spring, and five of his eight starts were quality starts, including 7 1/3 scoreless innings April 12 against the Giants at Wrigley Field.
"When he starts, he's going to have to have fastball command," Sveum said. "Coming out of the bullpen, he can get through with his trickery, but when you start, you have to have fastball command and get some outs with your fastball."
Bogusevic exits game with left hamstring injury
OAKLAND -- Cubs outfielder Brian Bogusevic was pulled from Thursday's game because of tightness in his left hamstring, and he was listed as day to day. He said he tweaked his hamstring Wednesday chasing a fly ball in the ninth, and it tightened up on him.
Bogusevic started in center on Thursday, and played two innings in the field, making one catch in the first. He had one at-bat in the second and struck out swinging.
The Cubs already are short as far as outfielders go. David DeJesus was placed on the disabled list June 14 with a sprained right shoulder, and Ryan Sweeney fractured his left ribs on Saturday in Seattle crashing into the outfield wall.
Julio Borbon took over in center field for Bogusevic.
Valbuena has brief history of success against Colon
OAKLAND -- On June 7, 2009, Luis Valbuena, then playing for the Indians, hit his first Major League home run. He connected in the second inning off White Sox starter Bartolo Colon, who served up four homers in five innings in an 8-4 loss.
On Wednesday, in only his third career at-bat against Colon, Valbuena connected again, hitting a solo home run in the third.
"He threw me a lot of fastballs, and that's what I was looking for," Valbuena said of Wednesday's home run, which helped the Cubs post a 3-1 win over the Athletics.
Colon, named the American League Pitcher of the Month for June, is now 40 years old. Is he the same pitcher when Valbuena faced him back in '09?
"Not really," Valbuena said. "Now, he can pitch wherever he wants, and he has a lot of experience. He knows what he's doing on the mound."
• The Cubs haven't had manager Dale Sveum watching videos of the international prospects the team has reportedly signed, including Dominican outfielder Eloy Jimenez, considered the top prospect in this year's class. Sveum did check out the top picks in the June First-Year Player Draft.
"It's like a whole [separate] Draft," Sveum said of the international signings. "Supposedly there is some really special talent out there now. To be able to spend the money and get those guys is like what we went through in the Draft. The difference is [with the international signings], you can take 16-year-old kids."
When Sveum was 16 years old, he quarterbacked Pinole Valley High in a championship game at O.co Coliseum, throwing four touchdown passes. On Thursday, he was tossing a football in the visiting manager's office.
"How things have changed," Sveum said. "I was a first-round pick and got [$100,000] and had all kinds of bargaining power."
• Friday's game against the Pirates will be the first of four games rescheduled for 3:05 p.m. CT as part of the team's agreement with the city of Chicago.
"Two more hours [of sleep] is better than a 1:20 [start]," Sveum said.
• When newcomers Matt Guerrier and Pedro Strop get in a game, they will be the 40th and 41st players to play for the Cubs this season. That would match the team record for players utilized prior to the All-Star break (41) set in 2000. Last year, the Cubs used 40 players prior to the break.
The Cubs have set a new franchise mark with 21 pitchers prior to the break. They had previously used 20 pitchers prior to the All-Star break in 2012, '11, '08 and '05.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.