Carlos Zambrano completes anger management program

4 Comments

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has completed his team-prescribed anger management therapy and has reported to the club’s spring training complex in Arizona to begin working toward a return to the big leagues.

It’s about time, really.  Big Z was suspended indefinitely by the Cubs close to three weeks ago and he has at least another two weeks of rehab ahead.

Soon after he was placed on the restricted list, the Cubs announced that Zambrano would be returning as a reliever and not a starter, so that may speed things up.  But he will almost certainly need to pitch in a few minor league games to get his endurance and mechanics in check.

The 29-year-old right-hander had a 5.66 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in 22 outings (nine starts) before his June 25 dugout tirade.  He is under contract with the Cubs through 2013.

The Nats want Trea Turner to attempt 75-80 stolen bases this year

Getty Images
4 Comments

When it comes to cliche spring training stories, we talk a lot about “Best Shape of His Life.” Sometimes we talk about the “[Pitcher] has been working on a changeup” or “[Hitter] has made an adjustment to his swing” stories too. Then there’s the “we’re really going to focus on fundamentals” quotes managers love to give in February and March. They’re evergreens. 

Another one in that category is the “we’re going to run more” or “we plan to be aggressive on the base paths this year.” You hear that from at least one or two managers every spring. I imagine because, like the fundamentals one, it deals with something over which they have at least some moderate control. It’s a good quote.

We’re hearing it from Nats training camp this year with respect to one particularly speedy player in Trea Turner. From Mark Zuckerman at MASN:

Davey Martinez called Trea Turner into his office this week and told the speedy shortstop he wants him to attempt more stolen bases this season. How many? Let’s just say even the ultra-aggressive Turner was taken aback.

“Yeah, he gave me a number,” Turner said. “And I was like: ‘Wow, all right.’”

Martinez later revealed to assembled reporters that he thinks if Turner “attempts 75-80, we’ll be in great shape.”

Turner led the National League with 43 stolen bases on 52 attempts in 2018. The year before he attempted 54, which was his career high. Only only four players have attempted 80 or more stolen bases in the past ten years, so yes, 75-80 would be quite the escalation.

Which is not to say it’s silly. On a very basic level, yeah, if he is stealing bases more often, even without changing his basic approach, the Nats WILL be in great shape because it’ll likely mean that he’s on base more, and that’s good. If it’s merely a matter of him being more aggressive in the same number of times on base, well, let me know, but I’m not holding my breath.

I guess it’s nice to have goals, though.