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: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:39 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

A $17 mil set-up man would be ludicrous
History has shown that there is much overlap between "ludicrous" and "Chicago Cubs player personnel decisions."

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:33 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Confirmed by ESPN who confirmed with the Cubs.  Still a stupid move.  Don't the Cubbies have someone in AAA?

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:32 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

This is the worst front office in baseball. Royals included.

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:26 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

All they are trying to do is keep him from getting hurt so they can deal him by July, Lou doesnt like him and the rest of the starting staff has been doing their job, plus they get Lilly back this week.

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:26 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

So, why dont we just trade Zambrano?? Get a young, high potential starter and a bullpen guy for him. Then we trade Fukudome and play Nady in right. Then we move Soriano back to 2nd. Lets face it, he can hurt us a lot less at 2nd cus he has the outfielders backing him up. Then we play Colvin in left and he bats leadoff. Trade Theriot to anyone that will take him. We need a better SS. Fontenot can be dealt for another young guy for the bullpen. And while we are at it. See what the Padres want for Gonzalez. I love D. Lee, but Adrian is good on defense, as good if not better than Lee hitting the ball...oh..and he is left handed....if Hendry is going to allow dumb moves like Big Z to the pen, we might as well blow the team up and start over for next year when Ryno is the coach!

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:25 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

any comments, smart ass? maybe they're "spewing this nonsense" is true (WITH DIRECT QUOTES FROM BOTH LOU AND ZAMBRANO, which should have been a huge clue that it was accurate)

Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:24 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Other source? 

Have you looked at the Cubs website?  It's on there! 

As a huge Cub fan I'm not sure about the move, but the Cubs definitely need some help for Marshall and Marmol.  Need to send the former Notre Dame WR Samardzja back to A-ball.  The guy gets lit up like a Christmas tree every time he hits the mound.  He should have stuck with football!  What the Cubs desperately need is some offense.  You can't win if you don't score.  Cubs may be making some whole sale changes if things don't turn around soon.  Too bad nobody would be interested in Soriano.  Cubs are on the hook for four more years of watching this joker chase sliders that bounce five feet from home plate.  Painful to watch. 

Since: Sep 21, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:15 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Lou must still be hurting from 4/20.

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:13 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

This has to be one of the weirdest moves in recent memory.  Why would you move Big Z to the pen?  Lou is clearly panicking and there is nothing more to it.  Lou Pinnela has always hated pitching and what does he really care than to move an $18 mil starter to the set up position?  Zambrano says that he wants to be inserted back into the rotation in time for the playoffs....HEY BIG Z...your team is not going to make the playoffs this year.

Just think about this one...He had 16 quality starts last year.  That means he gave his team a 70% chance to win every single one of those games he pitched!  Moving him to the pen solves nothing and makes the Cubs even worse than they already are!  This is the single worst move probably of the last century...

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:07 pm

Cubs move Zambrano to bullpen

Agreed, Zambrano has not outperformed Dempster and Wells for the last 2 years.  However, he is light years beyond Gorzelanny and Silva.  I think Lou doesn't want to pull Gorzelanny or Silva from the rotation when they have pitched as well as they have.  Lou knows the law of averages will catch up to both of them and then he'll slot Zambrano back into the rotation for 1 of them.  I think Z ends up missing 1 or maybe 2 starts at the most.  Lou gets to send a message that those who perform will play.  This has nothing to do with boosting the bullpen.  Obviously its better to have one of your top 3 pitchers pitching 200 innings instead of 80 innings.

For now, I still trust Lou knows what he's doing.  Its a long season, missing a couple starts isn't make or break.  Lets not overreact by calling Lou an idiot (CBS Fantasy Sports Writers) until we see the results of this move.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or