Holy Cow! The Cubs are moving Carlos Zambrano to the pen

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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.

UPDATELou 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.

Report: Teams have inquired with the Angels about Hector Santiago

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 20:  Hector Santiago #53 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 20, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.

Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.

Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.

We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.

Prince Fielder will undergo season-ending neck surgery this week

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 10: Prince Fielder #84 takes a swing during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won the game 7-5. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.

Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.

Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.