3/15 Big Z gets big hit
Carlos Zambrano gave up one run on five hits over four innings in his longest outing on Monday at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson. Zambrano, who will be the Opening Day starter, did not strike out a batter in his third spring game.
“It’s just like [Greg] Maddux used to say, it’s better to have movement than velocity,” Zambrano said. “Don’t get me wrong, velocity is good at this level. When you locate your fastball, it’s good. My sinker was good — great today. I was able to command my pitches and get out of some situations.”
The winds at Hi Corbett created a Wrigley Field-like feel. The Rockies are moving to a new facility near Phoenix next year.
“It was crazy,” Zambrano said. “The first time when I went out, the wind was blowing out. Ten minutes later, it was across to right field. There was a ball hit by [Carlos] Gonzalez that I thought was a fly to center field. I saw Sammy [Fuld] go back and back and back. I thought, ‘Gee, this ball is going out.’ They only scored one run.”
Gonzalez ended up with a double in the third inning and scored on Jonathan Herrera’s double. The Rockies added four more runs off Cubs relievers to post a 5-2 win. Zambrano and Fuld combined for a run in the second. Fuld was safe on a bunt single and scored on Zambrano’s double.
“I was lucky today,” Zambrano said.
* Lou Piniella drove to Tucson with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and discussed the pitching rotation. Jeff Samardzija, a candidate for one of the vacancies in the rotation, will throw in the Minor League camp on Wednesday, which is an off day for the rest of the team.
Rothschild was able to set up the rotation between now and March 25, which is when Piniella hopes they can make some decisions.
— Carrie Muskat