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View Full Version : Zambrano: Cubs promise 'pen stay temporary



cheerio
04-26-2010, 09:26 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=5137975


CHICAGO -- Pitcher Carlos Zambrano said he has been promised his stay in the bullpen will be temporary as general manager Jim Hendry looks for another reliever to fill the eighth-inning setup role.

In his first comments to reporters since his move to the bullpen, Zambrano on Monday said he is OK with his new role but was firm while answering a question about whether he now considers himself a bullpen pitcher.

"No," he said.

Zambrano was then asked if in his mind he was still a starter.

"Yeah, that's what [Cubs manager] Lou [Piniella] said, that's what we agreed [upon]," Zambrano said. "They are looking for a setup man. That's what they told me. I don't think I'll be here [in the bullpen] too long in this role. But I will be there when they need me."

Hendry has been looking for a veteran setup man for five months without any results so far.

"I never predict whether or not we're going to acquire anybody or not," Hendry said. "I don't have a time frame. This is just the best decision for the club. A month from now we might have an injury or someone might slip up, things can change."

Zambrano, who made his bullpen season debut on Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers, is available to pitch Monday night against the Washington Nationals. Piniella said on Sunday that he won't use Zambrano in back-to-back games for at least the first three or four times Zambrano pitches out of the bullpen.

The assumption is that Piniella will be tempted at some point to use Zambrano as a closer if Carlos Marmol needs a day off. Zambrano says he's ready for anything.

"It's like the commercial," Zambrano said. "I can pitch. I can hit. I can play left field, I can play shortstop. As long as somebody pays, [Leon] can play. If [Marmol] needs a day off, I can be a closer. I will do my job in that spot if they want me to be the [closer]."

On Saturday, Zambrano got the final out in the seventh inning before allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout and one walk in the eighth inning of the Cubs' 5-1 win over the Brewers.

"I felt good, that's it," was Zambrano's only comment after the game.

Zambrano was asked Monday if he would have been able to handle this transfer to the bullpen a couple of years ago.

"What do you think?" Zambrano said. "A different Carlos wouldn't be smiling now. He'd be [expletive] off or disagree with the manager or he'd do other things. But I feel good. I'm happy with the way things are now."

Zambrano, who is 1-2 with a 7.40 ERA, had started 241 games since his last relief appearance on June 28, 2002.

Doogolas
04-26-2010, 09:35 PM
:)

Tehjosha
04-26-2010, 09:48 PM
Lou understands opportunity cost?

NORTH10
04-26-2010, 10:02 PM
If Z does extremely well, and our starting staff is still in great shape, it is going to be hard to move him back into the rotation. This 8th inning guy Hendry gets better be a good pitcher, if he fails, it is going to cause a huge controversy.

windycityD
04-27-2010, 12:25 AM
t minus two weeks until he's back in the rotation. There's no way in hell this thing can last beyond 3 weeks and not become a major distraction. The guy's pride will kick in full force, we all know it.

Caridad will get one more shot and the inevitable vet scrap heap signing will happen for "insurance." The former is the ready option for Lou; the latter is the mo of Hendry.

Ron!n
04-27-2010, 12:40 AM
Thank God.

ty_smitty21
04-27-2010, 01:27 AM
Even when Cardidad comes back, Z will still be in the pen. I think he will be in the pen for a few months.. no exaggeration. so far it has worked out.

Honestly, the only way he goes back to the rotation BEFORE we trade for somebody.. is if Z AND one of the starters start to struggle.

Right now this is what's best for the team. Others laughed at us for making the switch.. well, we are 5-1 since the switch.

Solid Snake
04-27-2010, 01:35 AM
If Z does extremely well, and our starting staff is still in great shape, it is going to be hard to move him back into the rotation. This 8th inning guy Hendry gets better be a good pitcher, if he fails, it is going to cause a huge controversy.

Yea, it feels awesome to be able to hold leads and ties and win games. Imagine if we had started the season with a major league caliber set-up man.

Even if they split those games where they had leads and lost, we'd be feeling much better about this team.

DamnGoat
04-27-2010, 01:39 AM
I never expected it to last more than a couple weeks anyway, so this news isn't surprising. Hopefully we get that setup man pretty soon, but at the same time don't overpay.

Doogolas
04-27-2010, 02:07 AM
Even when Cardidad comes back, Z will still be in the pen. I think he will be in the pen for a few months.. no exaggeration. so far it has worked out.

Honestly, the only way he goes back to the rotation BEFORE we trade for somebody.. is if Z AND one of the starters start to struggle.

Right now this is what's best for the team. Others laughed at us for making the switch.. well, we are 5-1 since the switch.

And Z has actually mattered in only one of those 6 games. So... It really has NOTHING to do with the switch itself.

We need to make a move sooner than later and get him back to where he helps the team most: The rotation.

NORTH10
04-27-2010, 02:19 AM
What's the market for this type of role right now anyways? I want to get this over with without months passing by and Z either getting 1) out of starting pitching strength and 2) causing any reason to keep Z in the bullpen for a more permanent role.

Captain Obvious
04-27-2010, 02:25 AM
Z has an ERA of 4, if we take out that first start. I'll take that from a guy who has never had an ERA above 4 in his life. It will go down.

That being said, the more that I think about it, the more I have a hard time arguing with Lou on this. I mean, the only other guy who could go to the pen, is Gorz. And he has the best FIP.

But, I do think that someone in the rotation(Gorz or Silva) will start to slip up soon. When that happens, I think Z will go back to the rotation. But, if they keep up their all-star numbers, I see Z in the pen till then.

flips333
04-27-2010, 06:58 AM
Ya know what... if the fans erupt with cheers for him every night like they did last night I can see it boosting his already ginormous ego. For what it's worth it's great to hear Wrigley when they put him in and take him out.

Doogolas
04-27-2010, 08:34 AM
I've never thought of Z as a guy with a big ego... But I don't really know him or anything.

poodski
04-27-2010, 09:15 AM
This better have nothing to do with how much he is getting paid.

If the 5 starters continue to pitch this well and stay healthy Z can stay in the pen forever and we can ride it to the playoffs.

vegeta25
04-27-2010, 09:30 AM
Has anyone noticed that Zambrano has been throwing different since the start of the year? I was looking at his delivery last year and this year. He doesn't seem to be keeping his elbow up high and seems to throw more three quarters or even side arm a little. He isn't staying on top of the ball so therefore his pitches are flat and don't sink as much. Watching the game last night with the Nationals broadcasters, Rod Dibble noticed this too. He wondered if Z is throwing hurt and just not saying anything about it. I am a catcher myself and I usually can tell when something is not right with my pitcher and Z doesn't look right. Anyone else feel the same way?

poodski
04-27-2010, 09:45 AM
Has anyone noticed that Zambrano has been throwing different since the start of the year? I was looking at his delivery last year and this year. He doesn't seem to be keeping his elbow up high and seems to throw more three quarters or even side arm a little. He isn't staying on top of the ball so therefore his pitches are flat and don't sink as much. Watching the game last night with the Nationals broadcasters, Rod Dibble noticed this too. He wondered if Z is throwing hurt and just not saying anything about it. I am a catcher myself and I usually can tell when something is not right with my pitcher and Z doesn't look right. Anyone else feel the same way?

Lets give it a little more time. His peripherals are fine, but his results arent. The 434 BABIP isnt going to last, and 64% LOB% isnt going to last.

Doogolas
04-27-2010, 09:53 AM
Lets give it a little more time. His peripherals are fine, but his results arent. The 434 BABIP isnt going to last, and 64% LOB% isnt going to last.

This. If his pitches were flat he wouldn't be striking out so many people.

poodski
04-27-2010, 10:01 AM
This. If his pitches were flat he wouldn't be striking out so many people.

I wonder how many more K's he is getting due to seeing more people because he is giving up such a high avg.

Str1fe5
04-27-2010, 10:26 AM
This better have nothing to do with how much he is getting paid.

If the 5 starters continue to pitch this well and stay healthy Z can stay in the pen forever and we can ride it to the playoffs.

Those are some pretty big ifs, and there's an elephant in the room that Zambrano is almost certainly a better pitcher than Gorzo and Silva, and very likely better than Wells. He should never have been pitching in the 'pen, period.

Doogolas
04-27-2010, 10:27 AM
As we figured out on AIM he's pitching at a level of about 10.1K/9 as opposed to the 11.3K/9 he's currently at.

poodski
04-27-2010, 10:52 AM
Those are some pretty big ifs, and there's an elephant in the room that Zambrano is almost certainly a better pitcher than Gorzo and Silva, and very likely better than Wells. He should never have been pitching in the 'pen, period.

But what does that matter? Sure he is better than Silva or Gorzy, but how much better is he than our possible set up men?

Are Silva and Gorzy meant to really be put in that spot? Gorzy surely isnt because we would put Marshall there and put Gorzy in Marshalls spot, but do we really want to consider putting a guy like Silva with his career 3.81 K/9 in that role?

The difference between Zambrano and Silva and Gorzy is smaller than the difference between Zambrano and Caridad. Thats what matters to me. If Siva and Gorzy can manage ERA's south of 4 I will never ever complain about moving Z to where he is. If Silva and Gorzy creep above 4 we have another story though.

EDIT: Also its your buddies turn in the OOTP draft.

MJ-BULLS
04-27-2010, 11:52 AM
I expected this. I mean, he is winning to much money to be a bullpen guy anyway.

I just hope the cubs can get a solid reliever during the season to solidify the pen, and put back Z in the rotation.

its still early
04-27-2010, 12:05 PM
losing matt capps to the nationals was such a joke.

Milnertime
04-27-2010, 12:21 PM
losing matt capps to the nationals was such a joke.
Thank ESPN for their overhyping of the closer position.

Capps turned down more money in Chicago in favor of closing in Washington, IIRC.

Ron!n
04-27-2010, 12:23 PM
Thank ESPN for their overhyping of the closer position.

Capps turned down more money in Chicago in favor of closing in Washington, IIRC.
Yeah he wanted a shot at closing games. But i dont think you can blame him, he goes out and proves what hes worth in Washington for one year and then gets a big pay day when he hits the market.

windycityD
04-27-2010, 01:33 PM
This better have nothing to do with how much he is getting paid.

If the 5 starters continue to pitch this well and stay healthy Z can stay in the pen forever and we can ride it to the playoffs.

One of Gorzo or Silva is going to have bad outings, sooner or later. My bets are on Gorzo but wont be surprised if that guy ends up being Silva.

The only way to possibly solve this issue is if a team like Minnesota loses a starter early on and goes out looking for a starter on the cheap. Then a guy like Gorzo has solid value

WOwolfOL
04-27-2010, 02:59 PM
This better have nothing to do with how much he is getting paid.

If the 5 starters continue to pitch this well and stay healthy Z can stay in the pen forever and we can ride it to the playoffs.

Exactly how I feel also...

This is the best solution to the problem. We are going to pay big in trade and we need to hold our prospects.

its still early
04-27-2010, 02:59 PM
Thank ESPN for their overhyping of the closer position.

Capps turned down more money in Chicago in favor of closing in Washington, IIRC.

right, you are. he should have been offered the opportunity to close for us. marmol was just fine in "set up" role. i really dislike the degree of importance placed on certain "roles" in the bullpen. i would just like the have as many quality arms in there as possible.