What’s Up with Big Z?

As the Cubs and Lou Piniella spend their off day letting go of the last week and preparing for the weekend series in Cincinnati, the biggest question that surrounds the Cubs is not the 5-game losing streak but the status of Carlos Zambrano.

Reports are varying as to what actually took place on Wednesday. All reports are stating that Zambrano showed up for his scheduled visit with Dr. Stephen Gryzlo but that Zambrano did not have the MRI on his right arm following the exam.

Lou Piniella stated Zambrano left before Tuesday night’s game was over and he has not talked to Zambrano. A report following the game on Wednesday night stated Zambrano did not want the fluid pumped into his arm required for an MRI. The fluid (called gadolinium) apparently caused Zambrano to be placed on the 15-day DL back in June and he would rather miss one start because of what he is describing as a tired arm than at least two starts he would miss because of the fluid being injected. The report on Comcast SportsNet indicated Zambrano feels like he will be fine with a little rest.

Dave Kaplan reported that he was told by his sources that Zambrano’s problems are more mental than physical.

Regardless of Zambrano’s performance in August that had many calling for either Ryan Dempster or Rich Harden to start the first game of a post-season series, if the Cubs make it to the playoffs, Carlos Zambrano is the key to this team’s success. He is one of their leaders both physically and emotionally.

The Cubs should release what exactly is going on with Carlos Zambrano at some point on Thursday, but until then there is a lot of speculation from several mainstream sources.

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An updated post will follow when the official news from the Cubs is released at some point on Thursday.

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax