Zambrano throws two scoreless innings at Triple-A Iowa

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Carlos Zambrano took another big step toward returning from his team-issued suspension on Saturday night with two scoreless innings of relief for Triple-A Iowa.  This according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.

Big Z used 29 pitches.  He allowed only one hit and struck out three while also notching his first minor-league hold.  Zambrano will make one more rehab appearance — maybe two — before rejoining the Cubs next weekend.  He will work as a reliever once he is cleared to return to the big leagues.

Zambrano has not spoken to the media since his June 25 dugout tirade and is not expected to do so before he returns to the majors.  That’s probably for the best.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.