Carlos Zambrano, who last week insisted he was ready to join the Phillies’ rotation, tossed six shutout innings yesterday at Single-A.
That gives Zambrano a total of 10.1 scoreless innings in two starts for Clearwater, although his 5/4 K/BB ratio isn’t impressive. He’s induced a ton of ground balls, hasn’t given up a homer, and opponents are hitting just .184.
Zambrano can opt out of his minor-league contract on July 1 if he hasn’t been added to the Phillies’ roster by then, but indicated to Adam Berry of MLB.com that he’s willing to show a little more patience:
I’m going to Double-A or Triple-A. And after that, I think I will be ready and I will wait for the call. … Whatever they want me to do–one more outing, whatever. I’m ready to pitch in the big leagues.
Berry reports that Zambrano was working at 90 miles per hour with his sinker and he threw 78 pitches overall, but it’s hard to blame the Phillies for not fully buying into Zambrano immediately based on two Single-A starts given how poorly he’s pitched for the past two seasons.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).