end of the alphabet

the Cubs agreed to assume $15 million of his $18 million contract in a trade that should be announced soon.

The Marlins will send 6-foot-8 right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad in return, according to multiple sources

- ChicagoSports

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G CG SHO SV IP ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB Awards
1998 17 CHC-min Rk 0 1 .000 3.15 14 0 0 1 40.0 1.600 8.8 0.0 5.6 8.1 1.44 CBZ · ARIZ
1999 18 CHC-min A 13 7 .650 4.17 27 2 1 0 153.1 1.383 8.8 0.5 3.6 5.8 1.58 LNS · MIDW
2000 19 CHC-min AA,AAA 5 6 .455 2.62 43 0 0 6 117.0 1.316 7.2 0.4 4.7 6.8 1.46 WTN,IWA · SOUL,PCL
2001 20 CHC-min AAA 10 5 .667 3.88 26 1 0 0 150.2 1.274 7.4 0.5 4.1 9.3 2.28 IWA · PCL
2001 20 CHC NL 1 2 .333 15.26 6 0 0 0 7.2 28 2.478 12.9 2.3 9.4 4.7 0.50
2002 21 CHC-min AAA 0 0 0.00 3 0 0 0 9.0 0.889 2.0 0.0 6.0 11.0 1.83 IWA · PCL
2002 21 CHC NL 4 8 .333 3.66 32 0 0 0 108.1 111 1.449 7.8 0.7 5.2 7.7 1.48
2003 22 CHC NL 13 11 .542 3.11 32 3 1 0 214.0 139 1.318 7.9 0.4 4.0 7.1 1.79
2004 23 CHC NL 16 8 .667 2.75 31 1 1 0 209.2 160 1.216 7.5 0.6 3.5 8.1 2.32 AS,CYA-5,MVP-28
2005 24 CHC NL 14 6 .700 3.26 33 2 0 0 223.1 135 1.146 6.9 0.8 3.5 8.1 2.35
2006 25 CHC NL 16 7 .696 3.41 33 0 0 0 214.0 136 1.294 6.8 0.8 4.8 8.8 1.83 AS,CYA-5,SS
2007 26 CHC NL 18 13 .581 3.95 34 1 0 0 216.1 117 1.331 7.8 1.0 4.2 7.4 1.75 CYA-5
2008 27 CHC NL 14 6 .700 3.91 30 1 1 0 188.2 118 1.293 8.2 0.9 3.4 6.2 1.81 AS,SS
2009 28 CHC-min A,A+ 0 1 .000 4.15 2 0 0 0 8.2 1.385 9.3 0.0 3.1 6.2 2.00 PEO,DYT · MIDW,FLOR
2009 28 CHC NL 9 7 .563 3.77 28 1 1 0 169.1 118 1.376 8.2 0.5 4.1 8.1 1.95 SS
2010 29 CHC-min AAA,Rk 0 0 5.40 4 0 0 0 5.0 1.400 10.8 0.0 1.8 9.0 5.00 IWA,CBZ · PCL,ARIZ
2010 29 CHC NL 11 6 .647 3.33 36 0 0 0 129.2 127 1.450 8.3 0.5 4.8 8.1 1.70
2011 30 CHC-min A 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 4.0 1.500 6.8 0.0 6.8 9.0 1.33 PEO · MIDW
2011 30 CHC NL 9 7 .563 4.82 24 0 0 0 145.2 81 1.442 9.5 1.2 3.5 6.2 1.80
11 Seasons 125 81 .607 3.60 319 9 4 0 1826.2 122 1.319 7.8 0.7 4.1 7.6 1.87
162 Game Avg. 14 9 .607 3.60 36 1 0 0 207 122 1.319 7.8 0.7 4.1 7.6 1.87
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/5/2012.

This is a smart baseball move. Volstad is worth the gamble; the Cubs are going to be making a lot of those types of gambles to see who is worth keeping around when (if!) the next wave of competitive rolls thru, and it seems a decent use of otherwise useless innings. Either Zambrano will pitch well in 2012 and be out of the Cubs price range, or he’ll pitch bad and not worth signing. It’s also a great offering to the Cubs base, who have bought in to the idea of a ‘necessary culture change’ to the point the right amount of subtractions is worth more than any additions.

It also breaks my heart. We’re now five seasons away from when Z was really Z. He had the biggest win total in 2007, but the hits per 9 jumped that year and have never gone down again. He’s not been the guy you’d go out of your way to see every time he starts since, but he still usually put together one really strong stretch every year, usually right before or after a blow up. He still is out there trying (except for those meltdowns), it’s his arm started going out on way too early. Prior and Wood will be remembered as the arms the Cubs (possibly) mangled via overuse at a young age, but Zambrano was throwing 200 IP at 22 and 23 and 24 with them, and maybe it just took a little bit longer for it to catch up to him. Prior’s pitied for his his failed career, Wood is respected for battling thru his arm problems, but people seem to just blame Carlos for the same problems. Mostly because he’s made himself such an easy target.

It’s sad it ended like this. It’s depressing that it’s the second franchise guy who’s left on such terrible terms in a decade. Maybe Carlos will be welcomed back to the family before Sammy – Carlos is always willing to admit his mistakes (just not stop making them) and perhaps he’ll be a calmly guy when he’s no longer competing – but it’ll be years down the line. Zambrano acted like a jerk, but I’d wish he’d also be remembered for being the best player on the team and easily the most entertaining for the last decade.

I understand why he had to go, but I wish people remember why we were happy to have him here.

 

One Response to end of the alphabet

  1. I don’t think you could have summed up my feelings about him better. I loved him for his unpredictability. I loved him for his big bat. He was always a pitcher that when he was on, he was ON. My favorite memory of him was when he pitched his no hitter in 2008. You could tell how amped up he was and when the final batter came to the plate he unleashed a wild pitch. The look on his face right after always cracked me up. When he finally got that final out I felt so happy for him.

    The move definitely made sense, but the Cubs are going to be less exciting without him next year.

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