Zambrano Returning to Bullpen...Once He Returns to Cubs

From Paul Sullivan in the Tribune:

After Carlos Zambrano returns to the Cubs following his suspension—the Cubs are trying to find out from MLB how long they can be suspend him and whether they'll have to play with 24 men for the duration—he'll be returning to the bullpen. Tom Gorzelanny is returning to the starting rotation.

Also, Lou Piniella and Assistant General Manager Randy Bush were none too pleased that Zambrano had dinner with Ozzie Guillen last night instead of reflecting on what an ass he was yesterday afternoon. I'm thinking that if Carlos was self-aware enough to reflect on his behavior, he might not have acted that way in the first place. Just a thought.

Cubs lineup vs. Freddy Garcia (8-3, 4.85; 4-0, 1.25 all-time vs. Cubs)
Fukudome 9, Byrd 8, Lee DH, Nady 3, Ramirez 5, Soriano 7, Castro 6, Soto 2, Theriot 4

White Sox lineup vs. Carlos Silva (8-2, 3.01; 4-11, 5.33 all-time vs. Sox)
Pierre 7, Vizquel 5, Rios 8, Konerko 3, Quentin 9, Kotsay DH, Ramirez 6, Castro 2, Beckham 4


I went 0-3 with two strike outs yesterday. I am batting .165 on the season, and batting fifth in the lineup for the Chicago Cubs. Who am I?

I have a .404 OBP following yesterday's game. I am batting eighth for the Chicago Cubs. Who am I?

I am a major league manager, who's deteriorating mental abilities have reinforced addled senior stereotypes to the detriment of millions of Americans. Who am I?

Jacque Jones, Matt Murton, Leo Durocher.

Do I win?



messy, expensive situation.

Rickets: So, has Z had these anger management issues prior to yesterday's outburst?

Hendry: Well.....yes. He once fought with his catcher in the dugout and then punched him in the clubhouse...........Oh....and he destroyed a Gatorade machine before.

Rickets: And this was before or after you gave him a five-year, no trade, guaranteed $91.5M contract?

Hendry: Uh..........before.

Rickets: Jim, you're fired.

(Now, back to reality)

My understanding is that Hendry/Crane Kenney got contract extensions through 2012 as a condition of the sale. So Rickets would have to eat that money on top of most of the $45M left on Z's contract if he wanted do what most upper management type's would do in this situation.

.........and the hits just keep on playing.

Actually, the Special Olympians of Baseball Owners known as the Ricketts Kidz approved the extensions prior to the sale.

Saddled with monster contracts to declining talent, the economy in the tank etc. it would have been hard to pick a worse time to buy this team. The Ricketts' old man must be saying, "You did what with all the money I made? Jesus, the kid with the bikes might end up being the smart one after all."

From June 18

Nils (Darien, CT): Is McNutt having sucess with smoke and mirrors or does his stuff match his results? What kind of ceiling does he have?

J.J. Cooper: It's solid plus stuff, especially his fastball. A lot of people may think he's come out of nowhere, but if you have the Prospect Handbook you'll see he was No. 16 in the Cubs system coming into the year, which is a very high ranking for a 32nd-round pick with 28 pro innings—that right there tells you he's a serious prospect as he ranked ahead of every other Cubs' 2009 draftee except for their first and second-round picks. This isn't some soft-tosser tricking people, he can blow guys away with his stuff.

Eric Patterson traded to Red Sox.

Andy McPhail has got to be pissed.

<------Pushes self away from table. I'm done. Fuck you, thank you for wasting my time. See ya in March shitfuckers.

If I were the Rickettseseses, I would stay in Africa, they've got some BIG decisions to make when they get back. Best case scenario, they hijacked a diamond mine, killed all of the children working there and come home with a plane full of diamonds to help offset the contracts of Z, Fukerdome, and Soriano.

Man, this crap is better than watching Cops with a cheeto-stained wife beater on.

My respect for DLee has been firmly returned, which means he'll probably be traded within the week.

I hate to say it, but will trading Z be the 'spark' that turns the 2010 Cubs into a baseball team??

This isn't even fun anymore. We repeatedly get our asses beat. We have in-house fighting. There is no passion. There is no will to succeed. We aren't even good enough to suck. Of the many seasons in which there was pain (to watch an absolute joke of a team perform), embarrassment, and ineptness - all of which are key components to the term 'Cubbery,' this has to go down as one of the worst 1st halves to start a Cubs season.
I can't tell you the last time I was actually excited to sit down, relax and crack open a cold one to watch a game this season. My DVR has ceased to record any games. My "W' car flag has the same amount of dust as does the Cubs win column. I have even white-outed the W and now just let the white flag wave. This is fricken pathetic. We need a major overhaul. If we get to .500 this year it will be a miracle. As much as I love the vets who have been the faces of our beloved team for the past 5 years - decade, it's time to tear down the walls and start fresh. I mean, shit, what's another 5-10 years without a championship?

"I can't tell you the last time I was actually excited to sit down, relax and crack open a cold one to watch a game this season."

me, too.

i'm not one for giving up early and i don't think the cubs are 100% done...but it's pretty boring baseball all around. i don't mind missing games as much when i don't have much hope for things "righting" themselves.

there's not much on the horizon giving the 2010 a lot of hope unless aram regains his stroke and even then they're they have to get to .500 before we care how far they are from 1st place or the wild card.

Another 'fantasy' baseball article from Yahoo. Sounds like he should work for TCR. You make more money than Yahoo, right?

"Of course this isn't the first time Hendry has publicly devalued an asset that he should be shopping around the league. That's his signature mo—

Well, no, the no-trade clause is really his signature move. But he has other tricks in the repertoire as well, and this is one of 'em."

i wonder if he'd waive his NTC?

i keed.

Cubs are being somewhat consistent with how they treated Bradley last year. That's nice.

On a sidenote, it's admirable how they are still pretending that the next 89 games or so aren't just an exhibition.

Bradley didn't actually go after his teammates. He got suspended for giving an interview.

So if Bradley netted us a Cy Young contender, we should be a lock to trade Z for 2010 NL MVP Delmon Young.

Ron Santo mentioned during his guest appearance on the Fox broadcast--God, please don't let the Cubs hire Mark Grace for color duties!--that Derrek Lee has been having back problems since returning on the long flight from Seattle. Can't help but wonder if that is now the party line to explain why he didn't dive after Juan Pierre's ground ball on Friday.

Regardless, if Lee's back is that bad, why was he in the lineup and why was Colvin sitting last night?

And why didn't he bend over to make the catch that caused us to blow the save in the 7th inning Thursday in Seattle? I don't know why they released Tracy, they should have kept him for at least 15 days while Lee went on the DL.

Lee's been playing first base like his back is out for about a month now. And, rightly or wrongly, that's one of the reasons Z went off on him.

Off season priorities:

1. Bullpen... yet again. And no, Samardzija doesn't count. Go get a couple boring veteran arms that you can rely on to not screw up too many

2. Find a 3B.

3. Find a decent 2B, like Orlando Hudson or something.


#1 is already solved, we have Grabow (and for only $4.8 million next year).

#2 is going to be difficult since Ramirez will surely exercise his player option. Like it or not, he is not going to be on the bench next year. Given his career track record, he'll be starting and given the opportunity to rebound from this dismal season.

I'll be honest, I don't think ARam's season is lost yet. Just a thought.

Well his season totals are going to be really crappy, but he could come back.

I am assuming that Ryno thinks Aramis will be moving to first next year and that's why we need a third basemen...

Wrongway's suggestion of Carlos Lee for Zambrano could make some sense for us, they could have Nady too.

I've never been a CarLee fan, but if memory serves he absolutley CRUSHES at Wrigley

It's because he's facing Cubs pitchers, not the ball park

Well, that is not entirely true. He has a career OPS of .964 in Wrigley, compared to .917 against the Cubs in other ballparks. He slugs .616 in Wrigley compared to .529 against the Cubs elsewhere. His OPS in Minute Maid is .907, so he does even better at Wrigley than at home.

I have a jeff blauser jersey I can sell you

The other difference is that the Cubs pitching has been pretty damned good throughout most of Carlos Lee's career.

First, why do you own a Jeff Blauser jersey? I hope it was given to you as a gift or something.

Second, Carlos Lee will be 35 years old next year, is hitting .230, can't play defense, and we already have a glut of outfielders. So I don't want him.

But I merely wanted to point out that his success in Wrigley goes beyond his success against the Cubs.

jk on jersey

blauser was the great cub killer of the 90's. cubs got him and he became aaron miles.

I remember some people thought clee could be turned into a 3rd baseman a few years back.

good times.

As terrible as Blauser was once he came to Chicago. He did still manage to get on base at .340 or better both seasons.

Just didn't have much power left in the bat once he got to Chicago.

He was Theriot with much higher expectations.

My priority list
#1 First Base. I don't see anybody in the system to take Derrick Lee's spot. Resigning Lee to a reasonable 1 year deal or finding his replacement is in my book off priority numero uno. Lee has been one of my favorite players for years but I prefer the latter of finding a replacement.

#2 Starting pitching. Assuming Big Z and Lilly are gone, the rotation looks like Dempster, Wells, Silva, Groz and a rookie. I'm starting to get a Rich Hill feeling for Wells, I can't believe Silva. Also, by bringing in a quality #2-3 type pitcher, we aren't watering down the bullpen further. If used properly (aka never pitching Howry), a backend of Marshall, Cashner and Marmol could be very effective.

Third base is Arams. No need to waste time, energy or keystrokes on it at this point. Just have a quality back up player so when Aram does get hurt, its not the end of the season.

For years, eh? When are you going to learn how to spell his name?

My bad, I have a proper noun deficiency.

I don't think filling specific holes will be quite so important this offseason.

Moving the last of the "bloated" contracts needs to be priority 1. Anyone that isn't helping in 2012 should be on the block right now.

Marlon Byrd

Tear this thing completely down as far as possible this offseason. Instead of overpaying vets to fill this spot or that spot, just be terrible for a season.

Then spend really heavy in the draft/latin America/Pacific Rim and so forth.

Lyle Overbay or Adrian Beltre aren't the answers to 2011. Spending 20 million untapped talent will be the answer.

No more chasing our tails.

Az Phil, if you're lurking...Marquis Smith had a 4-4 night playing 3B for Iowa. Can he play enough defense at 3B to stick when the Cubs rip the guts out of the mlb roster and go on a youth movement?

Knowing Hendry, he'll probably get released and signed by St. Louis, since Milwaukee already has a decent 3Ber.

From a MLB Trade Rumors write up on a Buster Olney blog:

•The Cubs have tried to deal with Carlos Zambrano's past outbursts because of his talent and his $91.5MM contract. After the latest blow-up though, it appears the club has run out of patience. According to Olney, there's "an overriding perception within the organization" that Zambrano hasn't cared about living up to his end of the deal.

The Olney piece is subscriber only.

Here's how Hendry dealt with Z's past outbursts. He gaven him a $91.5 million no trade contract!

Z has always been like this. He's been in full meltdown mode since he first came up.

What an effed up organization....

Man, you ever wonder how different things might have been if Prior hadn't run into Marcus Giles and Wood's elbow didn't blow up? Zambrano was great at being the third best option. Not so much as the ace.

With a couple legit aces in Prior and Wood, Hendry could have traded Z at peak value. Instead, Z got pushed into being the staff ace and got a ridiculous contract.

Oh, what could have been...

i really liked how Z handled himself being the "3rd story" behind prior/wood while pretty quietly establishing himself as a top-of-rotation starter. some guys wouldn't be able to handle being the guy who's actually showing up everyday and doing it while 2 guys who can't stay healthy get more talk.

I have to believe Brett Jackson and Aaron Shafer are due for promotion any day now. Jackson is now hitting .316/.420/.517 and is leading or in the top three of just about every offensive statistics in the FSL. Shafer's ERA is a miniscule 0.96 and he's sporting a WHIP of 0.84.

When Jackson moves to Tennessee, I'm curious as to how the Cubs will deal with Campana. He's played well enough (.333/.395/.396) for promotion, but the Iowa outfield is already pretty packed.

I thought Jackson was promoted a few days ago?

Should happen any day now. The other organizations are starting to complain: "One league observer says, "He's officially too good for High-A" according to Baseball Prospectus.

3-3 yesterday all doubles and a walk.

Miles says Jackson and Rafael Dolis were promoted to AA Tenn today:

McNutt and Ty Wright also promoted.

Busy day for Cubs transactions

Jason Dubois placed on 7 day DL

RHP Oswaldo Martinez sent down to Daytona from Tenn. Baseball America glamor boy McNutt to Daytona from Peoria.

RHP Manolin DeLeon called up to Peoria from AZL Cubs

LHP Jokisch, 2B Pierre LePage, and RHP Aaron Kurcz called up to Boise from AZL Cubs.

Jesse Ginley sent down to AZL Cubs from Boise.

Jackson 2-5 with a HR in his AA debut. Let the hype machine begin!

I have to admit, I hated the pick, at the time, and he still strikes out too much for my taste, but watching him a bit in ST, you can see he has all the physical tools to be a star MLB player. Right now he projects to me as Rob Deer with a little bit more speed.

"Right now he projects to me as Rob Deer " the pioneering advocate of the 4 strike rule change.

uggh, Rob Deer.'t Rob Deer a 150K+ a year guy, who hit for low average and low OBP, a RF-1B type?

Sheesh with faint

OK, how about Mike Cameron with a little less speed?

Better, for sure, and given the Cubs 1st round draft history with position players, a Mike Cameron is like drafting a future HOF'er. Jackson's SB% (12-19) at 63% right now ... calling Dr. Denier, stat!

I would bet that Colvin would give Cameron a run for his money, speed-wise, even "back in the day".

I'd take that bet, since Cameron has alwasy been regarded as a "true" center fielder and had 40 stolen base speed. We were talking about Jackson, not Colvin, though.

Chris Archer probably deserves a promotion as well: He had a rough April but has sparkled in May and June. Overall numbers: 66.1 IP 76/24 K/BB ERA 3.12 (1.90 in last 10 starts) WHIP 1.10


too bad he can't hit lefties.

Over rated p.o.s.

he's looking like a guy that can hit 30+ homers rather than the guy expected to hit 20-25hr...hope it translates in 2011+.

For about 90% other organizations probably. But w Cubs they will have transformed into a middle reliever by as break next year.

Colvin's HR was his 10th in 135 AB's
Soriano has 11 in 229
Lee has 10 in 275

I understand people saying that Colvin's success is due to Lou playing him in favorable matchups, but I was actually excited watching a Cubs game (probably the third time this year after seeing Castro and Cashner's debut) when he crushed that bomb on Danks

len is no longer allowed to talk about justin beiber.

bob is speechless.

len used the word "hot" to refer to was all downhill from there.

Liked it better when he'd baffle Bob with talk of the Replacements and Tommy Keene.


Hits! Runs!

'doobie' gets dl'd w/a 'sprained ankle' despite homering in each of last 2 games w/ the wright promo...they're protecting joe hicks' iowa hr record like it was aaron's...

if they were protecting it, they would release him.

Yeah, if anything, this shows the opposite. Rather than release him, they DL him for a bit until the roster spot reopens up so he can return to his pursuit.

My guess, especially now, is that he'll get his final shot this September as Hendry will "reward" him.

How did Dubois get a pitch-hit at bat during yesterday's game while on the 7-day DL? Box score has Dubois listed along with Ty Wright's 0-3.

Submitted by Eric S on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 10:03am.
How did Dubois get a pitch-hit at bat during yesterday's game while on the 7-day DL? Box score has Dubois listed along with Ty Wright's 0-3.


ERIC S: Apparently Jason Dubois remained on the Iowa Cubs Active List for one additional game until Jeff Stevens gets officially activated. And of course Dubois going on the DL is one of those "stash the veteran on the 7-day DL as a player-coach" things the Cubs do every year (Mark Johnson is the other one at Iowa).

Ariz Phil - Thanks for the follow-up. Really enjoy your game writeups and appreciate the updates on the rosters, whose been released/cut, etc.

Theriot, Colvin, Byrd, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Soto, Castro, Wells


Tabata, Crosby, McCutchen, Jones, Milledge, Alvarez, Doumit, Cedeno, Maholm.

Recent comments

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  • RIP Zoobrest.

    crunch 31 min 9 sec ago view
  • He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 43 sec ago view
  • In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.

    johann 2 hours 56 min ago view
  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 4 hours 29 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 5 hours 49 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 6 hours 23 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 9 hours 20 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 9 hours 22 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 9 hours 32 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 10 hours 15 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 15 hours 40 sec ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 15 hours 1 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 1 day 42 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 1 day 3 hours ago view