Philadelphia Phillies: Is Carlos Zambrano a Viable Option?
Carlos Zambrano is certainly an enigma, but some people have been wondering if the Philadelphia Phillies might be interested in bringing him on board after Roy Halladay and John Lannan landed on the DL. There was even a rumor that the Phillies had already signed him to a contract (debunked by Hardball Talk).
The Phillies apparently have not even gone to scout him yet.
If you ask Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, he would tell you that they might naturally take a look at Zambrano, but they would only do so in the spirit of looking at all of their options.
However, when or if they take a look, could there be any value here?
On the positive side, he is only 31 years old. He has a career 3.66 ERA and is coming off a respectable season with the Miami Marlins. In 2012, while his record was only 7-10, his ERA was 4.49 and his WHIP was 1.496.
Those are certainly not elite numbers like he has flashed at certain times in his 12-year career, but on one level, it seems as if it might be enough to fill a gap for the Phillies.
At 31 years old, there is no reason to believe that he might not get his act back together if given the right opportunity.
On the negative side though, Zambrano does come with a variety of off-the-field issues. I don’t want to dwell on them here, but that is something that the Phillies would need to take into consideration if they were thinking about the right-hander.
Another potential area of concern is the fact that he has been slightly susceptible to fly balls throughout much of his career. Although he actually allowed more ground balls than fly balls last season (209 as opposed to 201), his career numbers have not quite been so positive.
In a bandbox like Citizens Bank Park, that is certainly an issue to be aware of. It might not be the best home park for him.
Overall, while there is absolutely nothing certain about any of this happening, it is an interesting thought to have. Carlos Zambrano is a proven winner at the major league level. Not only that, but bringing him on board would entail a minimal financial investment.
Perhaps in this case, if the Phillies do look at him, and if they do like what they see, it might not be such a bad idea after all.
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