Cubs Fun (Sad) Fact of the Day — Is the Carlos Zambrano Bullpen Experiment Over?

Posted on 13 May 2010 by Lou

Say it isn’t so Lou – Is the Carlos Zambrano bullpen experiment over already?  Dare we say it – should the Cubs try to unload the “troubled” righty – the one-time ace of the staff?  Wow – I never thought it would come down to this…

Big Z has made 7 appearances out of the bullpen since the move was made back on April 24th.  During that stretch, he has given up 3 ER on 11 hits and 2 walks over 7 2/3 innings.  He also has 2 holds – nothing great, nothing awful.  Just so-so.  Is this really what the Cubs truly want with their $18 million dollar man?  The guy who has been the Cubs opening day starter for each of the last 6 seasons?  The guy who the team still considers its ace?  As we said before, this move never seemed to make any sense from the start.  How can you really justify giving your 8th inning set-up guy $18 million dollars a year?  He clearly isn’t happy.  In yesterday’s 4-3 win over the Marlins, Manager Lou Pinella yanked Big Z when he walked Jorge Cantu and gave up a single to Dan Uggla after Zambrano had recorded the 1st 2 outs of the inning.  Big Z didn’t even look at Pinella as he walked off the mound and it was clear that Big Z disagreed with his manager’s decision.  Big Z has barely said a word to the media since the move to the bullpen and we’re starting to wonder if Zambrano really embraces the role.

Wouldn’t it be better to nip this in the bud before it becomes a clubhouse problem.  We know Big Z has a bit of a temper and we finally got things right in the locker room by getting rid of Milton Bradley.  With the club already struggling to win games with a 15-20 record, do we really want to try to create a distraction that could make things even worse for this desperate Cubs club?  I don’t think so and most Cubs fans probably don’t think so.

It’s about time we ended this experiment.  Let’s get Big Z back where he belongs as a starter.  If we really want to win this NL Central Division (after the Astros swept the Cards in St. Louis this week, we’re still only 5 games out of 1st), at some point this season, the Cubs are going to need Zambrano to start and win ball games down the stretch.  Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny have been great – we couldn’t ask for anything more – but it’s time to send Gorzelanny into the pen and bring back Big as a starter right now.  Come on Lou and Jim [Hendry] – let’s do the right thing here and give our team the best shot at turning this season around – I can taste the champagne already…

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  1. Caridad, Zambrano Blow Game as Cubs Lose 10-6; Big Z to Stay in 'Pen | My Cubs Today Says:

    [...] they would not relinquish.  Big Z finished out the ugly inning – 4 hits, 1 HBP and 3 ER.  You would think an outing like this would force the Cubs to re-consider the Zambrano experiment in t….  But unfortunately, it looks Manager Lou Pinella is staying pat.  Here was his quote after the [...]

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