The Cubs suspended right-hander Carlos Zambrano indefinitely on Friday after he went on a tirade in the dugout, and then stripped him of his rotation spot on Saturday. Now he’s getting the silent treatment.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the Cubs have not spoken with Zambrano since he was handed the team-imposed indefinite suspension on Friday evening.
“I think until something gets rectified, I think probably the less
conversation the better,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Sunday.
“He’ll have some issues to deal with [regarding] his teammates,” added GM Jim Hendry.
So it sounds like the club is waiting for an apology from Zambrano, and will continue to play with a 24-man roster until Big Z himself cleans up the mess. We’ll have to see how that goes, and whether the Cubs can head into a busy upcoming week one man short. Big Z has posted a 5.66 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in 22 outings (nine starts) this season. He has a 4.15 ERA as a reliever and a 6.12 ERA as a starter.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.