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Carlos Zambrano will stay in the bullpen for now

May 10, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

Now that the Cubs’ starters are struggling as much as their relievers Lou Piniella was asked yesterday whether he’s considered moving Carlos Zambrano back into the rotation:

No, right now we need Carlos right where he’s at. We asked Carlos to do something that would help this team, and it’s helped this team. If you don’t hold onto leads late in the game, it has a lasting effect on the team.

Which is funny, because a) if you don’t have any late leads to protect that also has a lasting effect on the team, and b) Zambrano hasn’t exactly pitched brilliantly out of the bullpen. Zambrano has allowed three runs in six innings as a reliever, with opponents batting .346 against him. He’s also allowed three of his six inherited runners score, which while not reflected in ERA is certainly a big part of relief value.
He’s been decent as a reliever so far, but no one moves a pitcher making $18 million to the bullpen just so he can be decent and Zambrano has thrown just six innings in a 17-day stretch when he would have started three times. All of which is why it was silly to take a perfectly good starting pitcher capable of logging 200-plus innings and move him into a 70-inning role.

  1. Jonny5 - May 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    This has to be punishment for smashing up that gatorade dispenser. Poor thing was just making a living. “Was” is the key word.
    This move doesn’t make much sense, I’m still confused by it. They need to get him back into his groove, and this isn’t how it’s done. Wait until Carlos does to Lou what he did to that cooler.

  2. Mike - May 10, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Should I cut Zambrano loose and pick up E Santana of Anahiem.

  3. BC - May 10, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    I haven’t understood this from Day 1. I mean, he’s been bad, but not Aaron Harang bad.

  4. SabathiaWouldBeGoodAtTheEighthToo - May 10, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Not another article about Joba…oh wait…

  5. Howard from batavia - May 10, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    Another example of why Lou has to go. He has no idea how to manage a major league tema anymore. The game has passed him by.

  6. Rick in SLC - May 10, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    This was and is a great move by Lou. First of all, the starting pitching has been adequate. It is the Cubs offense that is the problem. They haven’t had late leads because they are not scoring runs. That isn’t the fault of the starting pitching. Zambranos presence in the pen is to help stabilize a very young relief core. He was the best option to move from starting to the pen because of various issues and was asked if he would do it, to which he said yes. I give kudos to Lou Piniella for having the courage to make the move and kudos to Zambrano for accepting his new role for the good of the team. Now lets get some offense and win some games.

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