Carlos Zambrano was back on the mound Sunday for the first time since walking out on his team in Atlanta in August, pitching 2 2/3 innings in his home country of Venezuela, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Pitching for Los Caribes de Anzategui, the Cubs right-hander allowed two runs on four hits, allowing a home run to Chicago's Bryan LaHair. Zambrano also had a throwing error walked two and hit a batter, but did strike out three batters.
Chicago's Theo Epstein told the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan last week that he was OK with Zambrano pitching this winter because he needed the innings and "it could be good for his state of mind to get out there and perform."
Zambrano was 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 starts for the Cubs in 2011, throwing 145 2/3 innings, but was placed on the team's disqualified list in August after he left his team during a game against the Braves. He pitched in just 129 2/3 innings in 2010 after being suspended for an outburst in the dugout.
Still, the Cubs are on the hook for $18 million for Zambrano in 2012 and have to decide exactly what to do with him. Zambrano is expected to make nine starts by Christmas in Venezuela and then resting until spring training begins.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.