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.
The Cardinals have placed right-hander Carlos Martinez on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain, per a team announcement on Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 20. No definite timetable has been set for his return to the rotation yet, but interim manager Mike Shildt told reporters he feels confident that Martinez will only need to skip one start before taking the mound again.
Martinez, 26, sustained the injury while trying to snare a line drive during Thursday’s 9-6 loss to the Cubs. It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the righty this season, as he lost nearly four weeks to a right lat strain and pitched to a 5.32 ERA after returning to the Cardinals’ roster in early June. Overall, however, his numbers look a little stronger: He’s 6-6 in 17 starts with a 3.39 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 through 95 2/3 innings.
In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever John Brebbia has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis. The 28-year-old Brebbia has already enjoyed three short-lived stints in the majors this season; he currently holds a cumulative 4.13 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 9.9 SO/9 and two saves in 32 2/3 innings with the club.