If Carlos Zambrano is smart…he’ll use this opportunity to resurrect his career as a reliever…like, for good.
His potential to win 20-games as a starter is just that…potential…which loosely translates to…he’s never done it.
Eight full seasons in the bigs and Zambrano averages 14-wins per year. Not bad, of course…but not an ace….and 20-W’s just ain’t gonna happen, either.
But…put this guy in the pen, and perhaps, for one single inning, he can channel his untamed emotions into All Star stuff again.
And maybe, just maybe…he becomes the dominate set-up man Carlos Marmol was in 2008. Heck, anything close to that would count as a victory!
At the very least, it’s an interesting theory…and one that’s actually worked for other teams…and might even work with Zambrano, too.
Given the current circumstances…a bullpen ranked third-worst in baseball…1-6, with a 6.15 ERA…this is a brilliant, albeit desperate, move to save the Cubs’ young season.
The frustrating part, however, is this predicament to begin with…one which falls squarely on the shoulders of Jim Hendry.
His reluctance to upgrade the pen this winter jeopardized the Cubs’ season from the get-go. And to think a bullpen comprised of three rookie hurlers and Jeff Samardzija would spell winning baseball is ludicrous.
Whether or not this experiment works…and that’s what this is, an experiment…it will directly impact Jim Hendry’s job.
The man was fortunate to survive the Milton Bradley debacle…but a failed attempt with Zambrano in the bullpen could spell the end for Jim Hendry in Chicago.