Blog Entry

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Posted on: April 21, 2010 4:58 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2010 7:59 pm

NEW YORK -- The Cubs have moved opening day starter Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen.

Zambrano, who last pitched in relief in 2002, becomes the primary setup man in front of closer Carlos Marmol. Ted Lilly returns from the disabled list this weekend to join the Cubs rotation. Zambrano, who made his fourth start of the year Tuesday night against the Mets, will be available in relief beginning Friday night in Milwaukee.

The bullpen has been a major problem for the Cubs, who are off to a 5-9 start and have already fallen four games behind the Cardinals in the National League Central. The Cubs have allowed 16 eighth-inning runs, the most in the major leagues.

"This makes all the sense in the world," said manager Lou Piniella, who called Zambrano into his office this afternoon to tell him of the move.

Actually, it was more to ask Zambrano, because Piniella said he wouldn't have made the move if Zambrano hadn't been willing to do it. Piniella told Zambrano that the move was temporary, designed to give general manager Jim Hendry more time to find an adequate setup man in a trade.

"I said whatever you want me to do, I'm here for the team," Zambrano said. "I don't like to be a reliever, but this team needs someone to step up. I need to help this team. . . . We've already lost three or four games in the eighth inning. I'm not saying I'll be Superman, that I'll be the best setup man in the big leagues. But I think I can be good. I think I can be great."

Zambrano is making $17.875 million this year. He allowed eight runs to the Braves in 1 1/3 innings on opening day, but has pitched well in three starts since. Piniella explained that the move wasn't made because of how Zambrano has done as a starter, but rather because he thinks Zambrano is the best solution to the Cubs' bullpen problems.

Zambrano came to the big leagues as a reliever, but he hasn't pitched out of the bullpen since 2002.

Category: MLB

Since: Jun 16, 2008
Posted on: April 22, 2010 12:49 am

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Maybe Lou is doing this as a means to make Big Z address his first inning jitters and focus better, kind of like pitcher therapy.  Obviously a short term thing, but Cub fans have to admit, if Zambrano finds a way to get out of every 1st inning cleanly it gives you that stud No.1 pitcher you need to compete with the Cards.  No time like the present to try and right the ship.  Kudos Lou!  I hope it works.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2010 12:45 am

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

this is the best comment i have seen on cbssports in a long time.  cheers

Since: Jul 27, 2008
Posted on: April 22, 2010 12:04 am

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

I think it is a positive thing for the cubs to do because Big Z is struggling starting this year and there middle relief in the bullpen, besides marshall, has been absolutely terrible.  Maybe this will put zambrano and the cubs back to there winning ways.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:54 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Lily has been on the DL - hasn't thrown a pitch. Maybe you meant Silva.

Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: April 21, 2010 10:42 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

What what? Man you have a freaking dart in your neck! No wait what?

A Dart, in your neck!

Your crazy man, crazy!

Lou you must have a dart in your neck, watch out for the pool, your going down.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: April 21, 2010 10:15 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

best post of the year, JJ.  What the H*** is he thinking?  This dude is your ace, and he will be wasted in the 8th.  Good Luck, Lou.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: April 21, 2010 9:45 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

This is not surprising. In the High Heat baseball game series he is listed as a closer for the Cubs mainly because he does not have the endurance to last 6-7 innings and his penchant for giving up alot of runs after only a few innings of work. If he can't pitch in the big leagues he can still hit, right? Make him the first baseman or trade him to an AL team so he can be a DH. Looks like the Big Z is a even bigger albatross than Barry Zito. But no matter what happens Zito will always be better. The reason is that he pitches lefthanded and he has won a Cy Young award. Hey, maybe the Big Z can start pitching left handed. He can't do any worse than he is doing now pitching right handed. Good luck to the Cubs on sorting this mess out. I have the Cubs as the World Series winners in my neighborhood pool.

Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 9:34 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Interesting.  Looks like Pinella is hitting the panic button earlier than normal.  This isn't unlike him to shuffle things around early in the season, though.
When the Cubs got off to that terrible start a couple of years ago and Lou was switching the order all over the place, everyone was up in arms.  They end up making the playoffs and some of those key pieces that everyone was complaining about being in the lineup early paid off in the long run because so many players got time on the field and experience.
I'm not saying this is a great move, however.
Also, what is a

puma slipper woman $30 is this the new and improved version of the Cougar???

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: April 21, 2010 9:34 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

This makes perfect sense to me.  After all, they got rid of one malcontent, in Milton Bradley, why not get rid of the other one?  This guy is a head-case, and Piniella is probably getting sick of babysitting for grown men?  This is major league baseball, and this guy does not act like a major-leaguer. 

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: April 21, 2010 9:26 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Look, I, and as much as any other Cubs fan, don't want to see the Cubs get off to a bad start AGAIN, and you definitely don't want to fall to far behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Nevertheless, it is, and I can not stressed it enough, ONLY APRIL 21TH!!! It is not the time to panic, or move your ace Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, even if it is a logical move to some. However, Ted Lilly please come back and be the All-Star you were last year, we need it, it will take some stress off of the bullpen, and the other starters as well. I would just like, personally, for the bats to pick up. Please respectfully correct me if I am wrong, but most of those games that they have lost is not only because the bullpen gave up runs, but we have not been able to bring people home. All in all, hopefully this is short-term, and by short-term I mean by Next Monday, that Big Z will be in the bullpen!


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