Carlos Zambrano may be going on an apology tour, but according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, it’s going to be unsuccessful.
Wittenmyer takes the pulse of the Cubs’ front office and clubhouse and believes strongly that Zambrano has thrown his last pitch as a Cub. He calls Zambrano’s interview with CSNChicago.com part of “an image-fixing publicity tour of handpicked media outlets,” and says that it’s against the advice of Zambrano’s agent. He also notes that neither Jim Hendry nor Mike Quade are impressed with it. He believes that no matter what happens with Big Z’s grievance, the Cubs will keep him away from the team for the rest of the season and that they’ll continue to try to trade him in the winter.
Of course Zambrano is virtually untradeable, and certainly without the Cubs paying all or nearly all of his 2012 salary. And when that dawns on the Cubs, it’s not hard to imagine them simply releasing the guy, because it means more or less the same to them.
So yes, we’ve seen the Zambrano contrition parade in the past. But it seems like we’re about to see a brand new outcome.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.