Z, Interrupted

The washout of last night’s Cubs vs. Pirates game in Pittsburgh delayed the return of Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano to the starting rotation until Friday in Houston. It baffled me that he was sent to the bullpen to begin with, and even more-so the way he was used. On the surface the entire exercise was a colossal mess. It may be early though to render a final judgement.

Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano at Wrigley Field in Chicago

Will Big Z hear the wake-up call?

The move may prove beneficial in the long run if it serves as a wake up call to the Cubs fledgling ace pitcher. I believe it was ESPN1000’s Bruce Levine that reported Zambrano’s ERA over his last 41 starts is 4.77 with a 12-11 record – hardly the mark of a #1 starter on a team known for having a good rotation. But Big Z always seems to have some mitigating circumstance sabbotaging his rise to elite status. Whether that be anger issues, dehydration, or lack of concentration, Z has all the tools but seems afraid to put it all together. So if his sudden demotion to the bullpen serves as a wake up call that he has to carry his weight as a top of the rotation kind of guy, then this exercise may have been worthwhile all along. Somehow though, I fear Z will even find a way to sabbotage his wake up call.

My bold prediction here is Zambrano will pitch well in his return but likely will return to his old ways soon enough. I hope to be wrong here, I hope he has matured to a place where he can hear this wake up call and seize the opportunity to get back on track. He has the talent, he just needs to focus and practice better self care – both mental and physical. We shall see…

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    June 3, 2010  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: controversy, observations, players

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