I’m beginning to wonder if Carlos Zambrano is really going to rejoin the Cubs starting rotation. The plan was to begin to stretch Zambrano out, so he could possibly make a return to the starting rotation sometime around the second week of June.
Since that announcement the Cubs have used Zambrano in short relief three of four games including last night. He did pitch an 1.1 innings, but that’s not long relief. Personally, I think bringing Zambrano back to the Cubs rotation is a huge mistake as the Cubs starting rotation has been pretty great. They are second in the National league in quality starts with 28 and have an ERA of 3.70 without Zambrano in the rotation. If you factor in Zambrano’s stats their ERA rises to just over four.
Zambrano seems to be pitching with better command since the Cubs told him he would be moved back to the starting rotation. Maybe, just maybe they told him that to get enough good performances out of him before they trade him, so he has more value. Think about it. They begin to stretch him out and while they do he keeps having solid outings as a “long reliever.” He’s all stretched out by the middle of June, makes two reliable starts in a six-man rotation, they trade him to a contender for some bullpen help, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Well, if I were a Cub fan that’s what I’d be hoping for. I guess we’ll just have to see how the Big Z drama plays out.