Tag Archives: Carlos Zambrano

The Tribune Comments Continue to be a Cesspool

Carlos Zambrano said after winning his 100th game last night that he’s going to retire at the end of his contract. Why? “You know how many Mother’s Days I haven’t spent with my mother? Twelve. You know how many things I’ve been [missing] in my life? It’s good to be here, it’s good to play baseball. But in five years. … I will retire.”

So he would like to spend time with his family. You’d think that was laudable. Obviously you’ve never spent time in the Tribune comments section! According to “GA Cubs Fan,” you’d be wrong:

And Carlos, PLEASE stop talking. All of us miss important times due to work and other committments, all while earning a HECK of a lot less than you. I hope medical people and emergency workers are working should you need them during “special times”.

You see, if you make a lot of money you should love your mom less. Maybe, GA Cubs Fan, Carlos thinks his job isn’t as important as being a doctor or a firefighter? I don’t know, chew on that for a little.

“One Eye Covered,” though, knows that missing 12 mother’s days isn’t a big deal:

Missed 12 mothers day? Come on. Something tells me she doesnt mind. I wish this guy would just shut up and pitch. Before, during and after the game. Just zip it.

Perhaps this commenter has great insight into whether Carlos’s mom would like to spend mother’s days with him. I have some doubts.

Finally, there’s this gem from John Anthony of Dixon, Missouri:

Good, please go. That would make it one less bum who speaks broken English. Eat another cheeseburger and get outta the country. Go back to where you belong!

John hates foreigners! They’re always coming to this country and taking jobs that hardworking Americans can do, like throwing 95 mile-per-hour fastballs and hitting home runs!

Bad news, John. Carlos is staying when he retires.

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If you don’t love Carlos Zambrano, you don’t love baseball

Exhibit A:

Zambrano looked good at third, at least if he doesn’t have to move much. Has he ever played third before?

“No, but I can,” the pitcher said. “Not shortstop, but third. I can at least knock it down, and with the good arm I have, I can throw. I can be the next Ken Caminiti. He used to play third, and he had that accurate arm.”

Of course I don’t want Zambrano actually playing the infield, but it’s hilarious to hear him talk about it.

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Brewers Series Preview

The pitching matchups for this weekend’s series favor the Cubs: Harden/Looper, Zambrano/Bush, and Dempster/Suppan. I probably don’t need to provide you with graphs or numbers to get you to believe that – avoiding Parra and Gallardo is a real boon, so thanks for setting your rotation up that way for no real reason, Ken Macha.

However, I will give you both. First, the starters’ career ERAs versus the other team. For Harden, this is in fairly few innings, for everyone else, it’s considerably more:

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The Cubs have the edge there in all three matchups. The only thing that surprises me is that it’s not more lopsided. But just because Suppan has a good ERA against the Cubs doesn’t mean he’s actually a good pitcher, I guess.

Next, we have performance against the Brewers’ starters for current Cubs. I restricted it to ten plate appearances minimum, which is a threshold a lot of Cubs can’t meet. I guess it’s not that surprising, given that this team has turned over starters in two outfield spots, second base, shortstop, and catcher since the start of 2007. That makes me wonder if that kind of turnover is precedented for a team that’s won its division in the same span. But on to the graph! 

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Two Cubs have had some success against Looper: Fukudome and Soto. Not surprisingly, they’re both barely over the 10 PA cutoff. And Soto won’t be playing tomorrow, so that doesn’t really help us anyway. Ramirez and Lee have hammered Bush, with Soriano’s line looking lackluster only by comparison. And Theriot and Lee have both gotten to Suppan in the past, though if they’re the only two who get to him Sunday night, I’ll be disappointed.

Here’s the Brewers versus the Cubs’ starters. In spite of being a young team, they’ve had less turnover than the Cubs in the last few years. But due to Cubs turnover, no Brewer has the ten minimum PAs versus Harden.

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I think the conclusions to be drawn here are pretty obvious: Prince Fielder is a good hitter. Jason Kendall for some reason owns Ryan Dempster (in a surprisingly large number of plate appearances). Zambrano has had a little trouble containing Braun, Dempster hasn’t. Corey Hart wears sunglasses at night.

This series looks good for the Cubs, although the second series of the year doesn’t really matter. Off the top of my head, I think the Cubs lost four of six or four of seven against the Brewers in Chicago the first month of the season last year, and yet they ran away with the division. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to see them jump out to a lead in the division early on.

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Zambrano’s Opening Day Win

Carlos Zambrano finally conquered opening day, coming up with his first win in a nice 6-inning, 1-earned-run performance. It seemed to me watching that he settled in a little as the game went on, both finding his command and finding a little more velocity on his fastballs. This is what Pitch f/x showed. I didn’t bother even attempting to clean up the pitch-type data, but it’s close enough;

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Carlos definitely put on a little velocity after the first inning, and he found his command at the same time. His control and his velocity peaked at different times, velocity tailing off even as strike percentage held relatively steady in that last inning. Maybe he was tired and just couldn’t get the ball out there as fast, or maybe he was starting to feel gassed and was taking a little off just to get it over the plate. Either way, Lou made a good decision taking him out when he did, but all in all, it was an encouraging first start from Carlos.

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Some Sunday idiocy

First, from Phil Rogers’ MLB whispers:

The Brewers remain thrilled with third baseman Casey McGehee, whom they claimed on waivers from the Cubs last year. He would have been a better fit for Lou Piniella’s bench than Joey Gathright, whose at-bats will be gobbled up by Kosuke Fukudome.

McGehee is a third baseman who’s never played a game in his life in the outfield. Gathright is an outfielder. I guess the Cubs have more outfielders than they need and don’t have great options to back up third base, but McGehee and Gathright don’t have a lot to do with each other. 

Also, McGehee is bad at baseball.

Then there’s the Carlos Zambrano wants a new ballpark hullabaloo.

“You come into a ballpark like this and you see great things,” Zambrano told the Associated Press on Saturday. “You wish that Chicago’d build a new stadium for the Cubs.”

I wish I had a nicer office, too. It’s not going to happen, but that doesn’t stop me from saying it. But of course, people are taking this like it’s fighting words. Here are a couple of people in the ESPN comments on the subject:

wow, what a moron. your burrito, email loving #### should shut up, Big Z. 
you are a small peice of of history that Wrigley has held. .00001 percent of tradition. Your not even the best pitcher to throw there. Cus do need to trade him and get some value for him right now. this pushed me over the edge.

 

Maybe “Big Z” should go somewhere else to play if all he is worried about is playing in a new stadium… 3.3 MILLION fans decided for themselves last season that Wrigley Field is good enough for them… and I am sure the same amount or more will do the same this year…
GO PLAY FOR THE YANKEES, BIG Z… the Cubs don’t need a selfish brat like you…

 

I forgot to add that I’m happy I didn’t draft this fat burrito eating ignoramus on my fantasy team.

 

Here’s one for you: A Philadelphia Eagles employee was FIRED for commenting on his Facebook that the Eagles were ‘re Tar ded’ for trading CB Brian Dawkins. The Eagles felt the employee shouldn’t be publicly derogatory to his team.

Wait a sec… isn’t Zambrano publicly telling his employers that they don’t know how to run their team? Maybe Zambrano needs to be put out on his keister, like the Philly guy.

Aww that’s right… ‘freedom of speech’ is only for the rich and famous.

I think that last might be my favorite of all. There’s racism in some of the others, sure, but it’s pretty ordinary. The last one takes a special kind of dumb. Saying, “it would be nice if we built a new ballpark” is totally the same as ranting at your employer. And obviously the Cubs should fire their second-best pitcher because he’d like a new ballpark.

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Long-term pitcher contract values

The Cubs have two starting pitchers locked up to long-term deals: Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster. Options aside, both pitchers are signed through 2012. Zambrano is going into the second year of a 5-year, $91.5 million contract. Dempster is just starting his 4-year, $52 million contract. 

Are either of them likely to live up to their contracts? Of course we can’t tell for sure, but a few days ago, TucsonRoyal over at Beyond the Box Score took a stab at calculating whether C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett would live up to their contracts. To do so, he looked to see how pitchers have done from year to year in terms of innings pitched and WAR and came up with a multiplier for each year of age. He admits the numbers are a little biased because he made a mistake calculating the multipliers, but it’s still an interesting exercise, so I did it for Zambrano and Dempster’s contracts. I assumed the 10% increase in win value would hold true on average over the life of their contracts. The results?

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Zambrano has already played out the first year of his contract, so we know what he did for 1/5 of it, while we’re just speculating for the entirety of Dempster’s. No matter. Using this method we come up with Dempster being worth $65.4 million, or $13.4 million more than his contract. And Zambrano would be worth $64.5 million, or $27.5 million below what he’s getting paid.

How much stock should we put in these numbers? Well, probably not a ton. First, there’s the error TucsonRoyal himself mentioned. Second, I would imagine there’s a fair bit of variance in these numbers, so you can reasonably expect a player to pretty far under- or over- perform these predictions. And finally, the multipliers don’t work to predict either Dempster or Zambrano’s career paths so far. 

For Dempster’s part, that might just be because he’s bounced between the bullpen and the rotation, and because of his surgery. For Zambrano’s part, he pitched fewer innings last year (because of injury) than TucsonRoyal’s numbers would have predicted, although it was about right for WAR. It was way off between 2006 and 2007, though. Maybe Zambrano has been a little unlucky the past couple of years and his true talent level is higher than his performance has indicted, or maybe he’s declining earlier than most people, but my sense is he’s probably a bit of an outlier. But the numbers are definitely interesting to play with, and I’m eager to see the next iteration of TucsonRoyal’s work.

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