After a tumultuous career in Chicago with the Cubs, it was another new employee of the Marlins relocating from Chicago that helped Carlos Zambrano. It was Ozzie Guillen and he felt that Zambrano could use a climate change and that this would help him perform better.
So far it is working.
Zambrano entered tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians with a 1.88 ERA and after another solid 7 inning performance, Big Z walked away with his 2nd win of the season and an ERA at 1.96. Hitters are only hitting .199 against him in 55 IP.
Meanwhile, Chris Volstad, former Marlins frontline prospect and top draft pick, was unpacked to acquire Zambrano this past offseason. Volstad was recently demoted to Iowa after going 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA. The Cubs have been defeated in all 8 of his starts thus far. Zambrano, who is owed about $16M, is still getting his check cashed by the Cubs which must be doubly troubling for the Cubs who realized he would not fit within their organization but may have pinned too many hopes on Volstad to replace him.
The Marlins are getting Zambrano at about a $2M price tag, basically Volstad’s paycheck, and are getting a frontline starter draped in the middle of their rotation without the pressure to succeed which may have hampered him in Chicago. His sinkerball continues to find effective work and Zambrano is pitching with ferocity and confidence on the mound.