During the past week Carlos Zambrano has gotten thrown out of a game for arguing what proved to be a correct call, gone absolutely insane following the ejection, bashed a Gatorade machine into retirement, drawn a six-game suspension from MLB, and now the Chicago Tribune reports that “he blew off the team flight to Atlanta on Monday without permission.”
Zambrano showed up at the ballpark yesterday and “was summoned into
manager Lou Piniella’s office … for a meeting that lasted about five
minutes.” Given the respective tempers involved, I’m sure that was a
pleasant, low-key conversation. According to the Tribune, Zambrano “is expected to be fined for this latest incident and may be asked to apologize to his teammates.”
The newspaper also notes that “this isn’t the first time Zambrano has
ignored team rules” and “the Cubs appear to be wearying of his act.”
Meanwhile, since signing a five-year, $91.5 million contract extension
two Augusts ago Zambrano has a 4.02 ERA and 214/117 K/BB ratio in 286
innings spread over 46 starts. Prior to inking the deal he had a 3.37
ERA in 172 career starts.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.