While most of the focus over the last week was on whether Carlos Marmol would pitch in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, it appears there is another Carlos that could participate in the tournament.
The final rosters for each team were released on Tuesday and Carlos Zambrano was listed as one of the 28 players on the roster for Team Venezuela. The Cubs have not officially said whether or not Zambrano will pitch for his country.
Updated 11:09am C.T. – According to Bruce Levine, Carlos Zambrano is not pitching in the WBC. Levine reported he spoke with Zambrano on Wednesday morning and he is not playing for Team Venezuela and he does not know why he is still on the roster. Zambrano will make his spring debut on Monday against the Diamondbacks. Ted Lilly, Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome are the only players on the Cubs 40-man roster that will play. Minor League pitchers Alex Maestri and Hung-Wen Chen and non-roster invitee Vince Perkins will also participate.
However, the main concern is the inclusion of Carlos Zambrano on Team Venezuela’s roster. With all of the caution they are taking with him this spring, why would they allow him to pitch in the tournament and if he’s not participating, why would Team Venezuela waste a roster spot on him.
If the Cubs are concerned about his shoulder, not to mention the LASIK eye surgery he may or may not need, the Cubs should not clear him to play in the WBC.
The Cubs should make an official announcement before Carlos Zambrano takes the mound on Monday against the Diamondbacks in his first start of the spring.