Carlos Zambrano as a Position Player? Steve Stone Must Be Joking

Bob WarjaSenior Writer IJuly 14, 2010

CHICAGO - APRIL 17: Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after striking out in the 6th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 17, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Cardinals 8-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If this is what he truly believes, then it's no wonder that former Cubs broadcaster and current Sox color man Steve Stone was never hired as a GM.

I understand that Zambrano has not fared well in recent years as a pitcher—starter or reliever.

I also know that Big Z has not lived up to his humongous contract.

But to seriously suggest that the Cubs try and make their former ace a first baseman is about as stupid of an idea as I've ever heard.

Look, Zambrano's reputation as a hitter is vastly overrated. He is a pitcher and even compared with other pitchers the only advantage he has is in the power department. 

In 583 ABs, about a full season for many players, Zambrano has hit 20 home runs.

But the rest of his offensive stats have been offensive.

He has struck out 208 times while drawing only six walks. Yes, you heard that right; no need to adjust your computer screen.

His OBP is just a few percentage points higher than his career batting average of .237.

His OPS is .634, which is not good.

In short, Zambrano is a terrible hitter who swings from his heels and hits more homers than the average pitcher but contributes nothing offensively when he is not hitting home runs.

Not to mention how bad he would be defensively...

Meanwhile, I have to think that Stone was taking a veiled shot at Carlos for his rant against Derrek Lee recently. In other words, if you think you are better than Lee, then show it.

Here is what Stone told WSCR radio:

"He'll probably hit the ball as far as anybody on the team," Stone told "The Mully & Hanley Show" on WSCR-AM 670, noting that Zambrano is a switch-hitter with a lifetime .237 average and 20 homers.


With Lee possibly on his way out of town after this season, "It might be time for [Zambrano] to take some ground balls at first base," Stone said. "If you're going to get anything out of Zambrano and if you can't trade him ..."

"There are teams that would take Zambrano as the fiery guy, but there are not teams that are going to take the 3-6, 5.65 ERA or whatever...The fact is, Carlos' stuff is short. It's been short for a bit."

It's true that Zambrano does not have much value as a pitcher, but he would have a lot less value as a hitter Mr. Stone.

Steve is a disgruntled former Cubs employee who likes to take shots at them as often as he can.

Still, he sounded so serious when he suggested this that one can only scratch their head and wonder if the man has lost his mind.

Or if he's just an arrogant, self-centered a-hole. I vote for the latter.