I’ve heard some people on the radio saying they think this is a good move and that Zambrano deserves to be taken out of the starting rotation. Do you really believe that? You think we are better without Zambrano in the rotation? Was his last start really that bad? I think not and I also think this will only hurt the Cubs.
I think we all can agree he hasn’t played up to par early on, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now: he is the most consistent pitcher we’ve had here in Chicago for the last decade. If you want the facts, check out my earlier post here: http://cubssoup.com/?p=28
Another possible reason for moving Zambrano is so he can provide some help to the bullpen. There’s no doubt they are a sad group of pitchers and need whatever help they can get. However, I find it funny that they’re moving Carlos when almost all of his struggles have come early on in his outings, which wouldn’t bode well for a quick relief appearance. And will he really help more in the bullpen than he would as a starter when he eventually returns to form? There’s no possible way. I don’t care how bad the bullpen is. You’re paying him as a starter, so why use him as a reliever? It just wouldn’t make any sense for them to make the move for this reason.
This brings me to the last – and worst – possible reason for moving Zambrano to the pen. Big Z has a no trade clause in his contract. If the Cubs are looking to move him after his slow start, they need him to want out. Shoving him in the bullpen will surely set him off enough to make that happen. If this is indeed what the Cubs are trying to do, they’re making a big mistake. Zambrano is a legitimate top of the rotation guy as well as an innings eater. He may not be playing to his pay grade at this very moment, but he will turn things around. He’s too good not to. If you get rid of him right now you’re definitely not going to get as much as you should.
Only time will tell what is going through the minds of the Cubs brass, but no matter how you slice it, I think they are making a terrible move. I don’t care how poor he’s started; It’s four games! I understand it’s all about the here and now, but I don’t know how you can discount his career when considering this move. No matter why they decided to do it, I don’t see it helping the ball club’s performance, which is really all that matters.