Is Moving Carlos Zambrano to the Bullpen Good for the Chicago Cubs?
Listed below are points and counterpoints debating whether the Cubs demoting Carlos Zambrano is a good idea.
Point: Yes, all you have to do is watch him pitch and realize that you can't give Carlos 200 innings pitched this year.
Counterpoint: No, Zambrano is making a cool $17.875 million and should be starting.
P: Lou Piniella is on record saying that this isn't a "panic move," but it seems to be permanent.
CP: Yes, I don't understand it and don't believe it either.
P: What is not to understand? He has not pitched well this season.
CP: Yes, but this is a guy with a proven track record of putting up 200-plus innings of quality pitching. His ERA has been under 4.00 in each of his eight full seasons. Do you realize that he is one of just nine active pitchers with at least 100 career wins and a .600 winning percentage?
P: That is the past. Here in the present, the Cubs can't keep giving him the ball when he doesn't deserve it.
CP: Zambrano is third in the league with 26 strikeouts. He is still a good pitcher.
P: His ERA is 7.45, though. The Cubs simply can't give this guy 200-plus innings again.
CP: The thing about Zambrano is he is very durable. Aside from last season, he has thrown 200 innings every year since 2003.
P: There is no arguing that he takes the hill every time. He has been very durable.
CP: That is Zambrano's greatest asset.
P: There comes a time when it has to end, though. Are you suggesting that he is still an elite pitcher?
CP: He is certainly not an elite pitcher anymore. However, he is one of the top five starters for Chicago.
P: With Lilly coming back, that is just not true.
CP: He is better than Carlos Silva.
P: Are you nuts? That dude currently has a minuscule ERA.
CP: Yeah, but his velocity is down and we are only talking about three starts. Check out his Mariner stats for the last couple years. You will see he is horrible.
P: Admittedly, they are bad. I think he has turned the corner, though.
CP: Good luck with that.
P: At the very least, we can say that he is pitching much better than Zambrano.
CP: True, for now. The league will catch up with him though.
P: He will pitch well all season.
CP: If you say so. You don't think that Zambrano is better than Tom Gorzelanny and Randy Wells?
P: For now, no, he is not.
CP: Zsmbrano's stats suggest that he is simply unlucky.
P: Whatever, stat geek...he has walked 10 batters in 19 innings. That isn't good.
CP: That is about how many walks he normally has.
P: You can't tell me his current production is better than the other Cubs' starters though.
CP: Those guys are soon going to wake up and realize their career norms and pitch like it.
P: Maybe but for now they are better.
CP: This sounds like Lou Piniella is making a statement with this move.
P: What kind of statement would that be?
CP: I am pretty sure that Piniella has never liked Zambrano's attitude.
P: Maybe, but it has to be hard for Sweet Lou to demote one of his pitchers with a 0.69 ERA.
CP: I can imagine that is true.
P: Actually, it would be equally difficult to demote a pitcher with a 1.93 ERA.
CP: Fair enough. The other starters are off to a better start. In then end, I will be shocked if Zambrano is not back in the rotation by the end of May.
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