Chicago Cubs News

Carlos Zambrano Prepping For a Return to the Rotation

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Well, it appears that Carlos Zambrano is working up his stamina and arm strength for a return to the Cubs rotation.

"“He [Lou Piniella] told me today there may be a chance I’ll go back to the rotation,” Zambrano said. “We’ll see how everything works out in the next few days for me.”Since joining the bullpen on April 24, Zambrano has pitched in eight games and has a 6.23 ERA. When asked if Zambrano was headed back to the rotation, Piniella didn’t offer a timetable.“Probably down the road if need be,” he said. “We thought the outcome would be a little different. He’s not comfortable in the bullpen pitching short. We’re going to use him in a different role, build up some stamina, build up his arm. That’s what we’re going to do.”Zambrano, a $91.5 million former All-Star, willl be available to pitch in long relief in Tuesday’s game with the Colorado Rockies.“Tomorrow will be a big day in the bullpen for me. I might throw 40 or 45 pitches. A lot of it will depend on how [starter Carlos] Silva pitches tomorrow. If he throws eight innings tomorrow, there is nothing I can do. That’s his job. I’ll have to back it up for the next day in Philadelphia.”Zambrano was asked if he’s happy about the possibility of going back into the rotation.“Yes, as long as this team is happy, I’m happy,” Zambrano said. “The boss wants me to close games, I’ll close games, if the boss wants me to be a starter again, I’ll be a starter again. It’s up to them, their choice.” ESPN CHICAGO"

To Simply put it, the Carlos Zambrano move to the bullpen was a failure for the Chicago Cubs. They were criticized when they first made the move, many arguing that they acted out of panic, and so that appears to be the case. There is no question in my mind that Carlos Zambrano will be in the rotation in the near future, because why else would the Cubs want to stretch out his arm.

I think moving Carlos Zambrano back to the rotation is a move that has to be done, because personally keeping him in the bullpen just would’ve caused the Cubs to lose more games down the road.  I know he got off to a shaky start this year, but last year he had 16 quality starts, and prior to last year he went the previous 7 seasons winning 16+ games each year.

But, by moving Carlos Zambrano back to the rotation this now puts the Cubs in the same predicament they were in when Ted Lilly was coming off the disabled list, and that is who do you take out of the rotation. I don’t see the Cubs taking Dempster or Lilly out of the rotation. Meaning, It will either be between Carlos Silva,Tom Gorzelanny, or Randy  Wells.  The Cubs have made it known that they don’t want to pull Gorzelanny out of the rotation this year, and they don’t feel Carlos Silva is capable of pitching in the bullpen at this point in his career, So, that would lead you to believe that Randy Wells could be the odd man out, and in a way, he would be ideal considering he does have prior bullpen experience with the Cubs and in the minor leagues.

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