Carlos Zambrano says he wants to stay with the Cubs

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Big Z’s annual apology tour is off and running.

Carlos Zambrano just spoke with David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com, giving his first public comments since being ejected from Friday’s game against the Braves and walking out on the team. You’ll be shocked to learn that not only does he regret his actions, he wants to remain with the Cubs.

“I did want to retire, I feel bad with myself, not with the Cubs, not with the organization. I feel bad with me, with the performance, with what I am doing or I was doing in the season it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating every time I go to the mound and I give up eight runs. It’s not me, and I want to do my best.”

“I want to keep pitching for the Cubs. It was a moment of frustration Friday night, and I pitched so bad I wanted to retire, you know, I don’t want to be making $18 million and pitch like crap.”

Just a bad day at the office. It happens to all of us, right? Spoken like a man with an agent.

UPDATE: Here’s the full video of the interview courtesy of CSNChicago.com:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Zambrano’s grievance against the Cubs is expected to be heard soon. While he is currently on the disqualified list for 30 days without pay (which could cost him approximately $3 million), Zambrano is expected to argue for a much shorter penalty.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.