Words cannot describe how much I love the move of Carlos Zambrano from the starting rotation to the bullpen! This is the kind of radical move I would do “…if I were running the team..” that you never expect to actually come to fruition. It’s really easy for guys like me to have this kind of knee-jerk reaction after 2 weeks and talk big from the safety of the bleachers or at the bar where my job isn’t at stake.
But Lou and Hendry actually had the stones to do it (or are they just that desperate?), and these are two guys with a lot to lose. Lou is in the last year of his contract and possibly a career with a legacy to consider. Hendry is hanging by a thread considering how his overpriced team has chronically underperformed and is now hamstrung by bad contracts for years to come. (I smell another blog entry…)
This move kills so many birds with a single stone PETA is organizing a march against it as I type. First, the obvious – they had to make room for Lilly who is coming back this weekend. Second, the bullpen has been absolutely brutal so far and is in dire need of some help. The Cubs so-called “relievers” have allowed 32 runs in the seventh and eighth innings combined in just 14 games.
Despite his massive contract and false monicker as the “ace” of the staff, Zambrano has been the Cubs most erratic and least effective starter thus far (his 7.45 ERA ranks only ahead of Grabow, Caridad and, of course, everyone’s favorite golden domer, Samardzija). This move might knock his sizable ego down a notch and make him realize he needs to perform. He told us all he was going to be a more “mature” Z, now is his chance to prove it.
Plus, it also sends a message to the entire team that no one’s job is safe. Did you hear that Soriano? (must have because he just went yard!). Hell, it might even afford Z a few more at-bats per week which certainly couldn’t hurt the anaemic Cubs offense (26th in the majors in runs).