Remember Carlos Zambrano? Once a mainstay for the Chicago Cubs, he hasn’t been seen in the majors since 2012, when he posted a 91 ERA+ in 132 innings for the Miami Marlins. Now 37, Zambrano wants to return to the Show — and he’s even taken to pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League in order to make it happen.
Here’s more, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan:
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.
So far, Zambrano’s winter-league experience hasn’t gone well. He’s appeared six times, throwing 12 1/3 innings and allowing 25 hits, 16 runs, and recording nearly as many walks (two) as strikeouts (four). Hey, there’s a reason everyone involves seems to concede it’s unlikely.
At minimum, this is a good way of remembering Zambrano’s overlooked career. He tossed nearly 2,000 innings across parts of 12 seasons, posting a 120 ERA+. He finished with as many pitching Wins Above Replacement as John Lackey. Zambrano was also an effective hitter for a pitcher, ending up with a 62 career OPS+.