A mere half hour ago I pondered who the Cubbies might move to the bullpen. In that post I said “lord knows that Carlos Zambrano does not exactly have the temperament
to live down in the pen.”
So naturally, the Cubs are moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen. That report comes from Paul Sullivan of the Tribune. According to Sullvian, Big Z is “cool with the move.” Because “cool” is what describes Carlos Zambrano.
Indeed, if there is one trait that I would say typifies a relief pitcher it’s grace under pressure and the ability to let go of setbacks moments — or at the very most a day — after one happens. I love me some Carlos Zambrano, but that’s a trait the fellow does not have.
On Hotstove.com this afternoon I said something to the effect of the Cubs being a miserable team to watch lately. They suddenly just got more interesting.
UPDATE: Lou Piniella says this may not be a merely temporary move and that “This makes all the sense in the world.” I’ve always had a mild suspicion that Piniella might leave the game wearing a straight jacket as opposed to his uniform. It may actually be coming to pass.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.