Cubs Changing Zambrano’s Role … Rotation Down the Road?
While John Grabow was busy walking the bases loaded in the eighth inning Monday night, the question became, why wasn’t Carlos Zambrano in the game? After all that was the situation the Cubs moved him to the bullpen for almost a month ago.
Lou Piniella answered the question following the Cubs’ walk-off win in surprising fashion. Piniella said they are going to change Zambrano’s role in the pen. The plan is to stretch out Big Z, build his stamina and use him long relief … for now.
Carlos Zambrano will eventually return to the Cubs’ starting rotation. But there is no timetable for when the Zambrano in the bullpen experiment will end. Lou Piniella said the Cubs thought the outcome would be different for Zambrano as the Cubs’ eighth inning setup man.
At one point Piniella stressed that he did not say Zambrano would be returning to the rotation but would remain in the bullpen. Toward the end of his post-game press conference Monday, Piniella admitted that was probably the next step for Zambrano “down the road, if needed.”
According to a report from Cubs.com, Piniella and Larry Rothschild told Zambrano prior to Monday’s game “there may be a chance” for him to go back to the rotation.
Multiple reports have indicated Zambrano was not happy when the Cubs moved him into the setup role.
Zambrano told the media Monday night …
“I’m happy. As long as this team is happy, I’m happy for this team. Like I said, whatever this team wants me to do, I’ll do. This is a business. They’re the boss. If the boss wants me to go close games, I’ll close games. If the boss wants me to start games, I’ll start games. It’s their choice.”
When Carlos Zambrano returns to the starting staff, who goes to the bullpen?
Stay Tuned …