Carlos Zambrano is 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA since rejoining the Cubs' rotation

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Carlos Zambrano knocked the Padres out of the Wild Card lead last night by tossing seven shutout innings in a 1-0 victory, continuing his excellent run since rejoining the Cubs’ rotation following a misguided temporary move to the bullpen.
Zambrano is now 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 10 outings since becoming a starter again, holding opponents to a .189 batting average and just one homer in 219 at-bats. And amazingly, after posting ERAs of 6.56, 5.00, and 5.01 in April, May, and June his overall mark is down to 3.36, which would be Zambrano’s best ERA since 2005.
I’m not convinced that Zambrano is all that new and improved, because his 55/37 K/BB ratio isn’t particularly strong and despite doing such a great job keeping the ball in the ballpark his ground-ball rate isn’t actually very good either. On the other hand, I thought the Cubs were far too quick to bump him from the rotation in the first place and his current run is a not-so-subtle reminder that he can still be a very effective starter.
All of which is good news for the Cubs, because they still owe him $18 million in each of the next two years.

Dodgers designate Sergio Romo for assignment

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The Dodgers announced on Thursday that the club activated pitcher Grant Dayton from the 10-day disabled list and designated pitcher Sergio Romo for assignment.

Dayton, 29, went on the disabled list earlier this month with neck stiffness. He’ll resume with a 3.63 ERA and a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings.

Romo, 34, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dodgers in February. It didn’t really work out, as the right-hander posted a 6.12 ERA with a 31/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. His peripherals are still decent, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a team in need of a bullpen arm makes a deal with the Dodgers within the week.

Nate Karns underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Royals pitcher Nate Karns underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Wednesday. He’s expected to be ready for spring training next year. Karns went on the disabled list in May with an elbow injury and didn’t make much progress.

The Royals acquired Karns from the Mariners in January in exchange for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. Over eight starts and one relief appearance, the 29-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.17 ERA and a 51/13 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.

Karns will enter his first of three years of arbitration eligibility after the season, so he’ll be under the Royals’ control through 2020.