Don’t look now, but Carlos Zambrano is pitching again at the age of 37.
The former Cubs starter, best remembered for his volatile temper that led to a dugout fight with catcher Michael Barrett, a shouting match with Derrek Lee and several crowd-pleasing ejections at Wrigley Field, is pitching for Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan winter league.
In 12 1/3 innings of work, he’s 0-2 with a 10.95 ERA.
Agent Barry Praver said Zambrano is serious about a return to the majors, though obviously it’s a longshot.
Zambrano lost 30 pounds and looks much fitter than he ever was during his time with the Cubs, when he often flexed and bragged about his “six-pack” abs. “Big Z” last pitched in the majors in 2012, going 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA with the Marlins. He spent his first 11 years with the Cubs, compiling a 125-81 record with a 3.60 ERA with 1,542 strikeouts.
Zambrano said at the Cubs Convention he’ll “always be a Cub,” though it’s doubtful he’ll get a chance to attempt a comeback in Chicago, thanks to his shenanigans through the years.
Does he regret his past behavior?
“God erased that,” he said in January. “I’ve already asked God for forgiveness. It was part of the game and part of my determination to win and to get the Cubs a championship. So when I watched the Cubs win (in 2016), I was so proud.”
It’d be great to see Zambrano back in baseball, though it’s probably just a pipe dream.