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.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.