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Carlos Zambrano throws simulated game

May 24, 2010, 7:50 PM EDT

Zambrano yells.jpgCarlos Zambrano threw 73 pitches in a simulated game at Wrigley Field on Monday, according to Carrie Muskat of As announced last week, the Cubs have begun the process of stretching him out for a return to the starting rotation.

Ken Rosenthal of isn’t a fan of the whole idea, but Cubs manager Lou Pineilla said on Sunday that “Big Z” will return to the starting rotation on the team’s next roadtrip, which begins on May 31 in Pittsburgh.

Who goes when Zambrano returns? It’s hard to tell.

The Cubs are still waiting to see if Tom Gorzelanny will be able to start on Wednesday after being hit in the left hand by a batted ball last week. On the surface, he’s the most likely one to go, but keep in mind that the Cubs already have three left-handers in the bullpen.

Carlos Silva is 6-0 with a 3.52 ERA through his first nine starts, so he hardly deserves a demotion, but it’s easy to see some regression down the road here, too (76.9 percent strand rate, .202 BAA vs. left-handed batters). It’s worth mentioning that Silva has a 3.73 ERA in 136 career relief appearances compared to a 4.83 ERA over 168 career starts.

  1. Old Gator - May 24, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    A simulated game. Is that sort of like soft core baseball?

  2. Ross - May 25, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    Maybe he was just using a prosthetic.

  3. dave binder - May 25, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Zambrano has been the Cubs Premier Stater. It was an idiotic move to take such a young and experienced starter out of the rotation to begin with!!!!!!!
    What the Cubs need to do is send Pinella down and BRING SANDBERG UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Perry Fritz - May 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    I think BIG Z is not ready to return to the starters role…. his control is not where it was a couple years ago just look at his stats….this year and last..his era is not good over 4 era I think
    he should throw at least two or three more simulations with the pitching coach on his mechanic’s….then get him back…I don’t always agree with the management of the Cubs but they made the dumb move to put big Z in the pen….and they got Howry he is past his prime and cost the Cubs in salary cap…and why have a farm system if the Cubs don’t give them a chance to play…..the game is full of risks and gambles…..some are ready and some need a chance…to prove themselves…the CUBS are getting older player wise…and in the future it will haunt them if they don’t start to rebuild…thanks

  5. Bryce Babcock - May 25, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    I’d like to see Zambrano remain in the bullpen. He’s been more effective there in a brief trial than he’s been in the rotation last year and so far this year. The Cubs should trade Silva and someone like Nady for Roy Oswalt who’s asked Houston to trade him. Silva has done well, but why not trade him while the team is ahead! Who knows if he can keep up his good work all season? [I’d say trade Zambrano and Nady for Oswalt except that Z has a no-trade contract.] If they trade Nady it would enable Colvin to play more. The thing they should NOT do in a trade for Oswalt is include any of their young players: Castro, Colvin, Cashner, Brett or Jay Jackson or Vitters. Those guys should be untouchable!

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