5/2 Could Big Z be a closer?

Could Carlos Zambrano be a closer?

On Sunday, it looked that way. The Cubs had what appeared to be a comfortable 10-2 lead against the D-backs when lefty John Grabow came in to finish the game. But Grabow gave up three quick runs on Stephen Drew’s two-run triple. That’s when Zambrano got up in the pen, and was greeted by cheers from the crowd of 38,144.

Justin Upton hit a RBI single to make it 10-5 and one out later, moved up on defensive indifference. But Grabow was able to strike out Chris Young and preserve the win for the Cubs.

Closer Carlos Marmol had pitched Friday and Saturday, and the second outing required him to throw 35 pitches. Marmol also turned his right ankle slightly when he stepped in a hole on the mound.

By not using Marmol on Sunday, Lou Piniella was able to give the right-hander two days off. And, if need be, Zambrano may be called on to close.

“[Marmol] threw 30-some pitches [Saturday], 20 some the day before,” Piniella said after Sunday’s game. “We had Carlos — Zambrano, I mean — ready to come in the ballgame if one other hitter had gotten on. That’s a luxury that the move we made gives us.”

The “move” was the decision to switch Zambrano from the rotation to the ‘pen. In four starts, Zambrano was 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA, including a loss on Opening Day. In three relief appearances, he has given up one run on five hits over four innings for a 2.25 ERA, and he has not allowed a run in his last two outings.

— Carrie Muskat


Grabow needs to go to the minors ASAP before he can screw up any hopes for the Cubs to get into the playoffs!!!!!

It’s a good thing Gorzelany came in the trade along with Grabow, although I did expect better from Grabow and must cut Hendry some slack on this. Still a good trade!

I also don’t think Grabow will struggle all season. He’ll come around and get back to where he was last year after the trade and at Pittsburgh. Cutting him now would definitely be a mistake!

I’m with you on that one pman, I think it would be a little harsh and premature to send Grabow to the minors….another month of the same stuff however and I might have to agree with cfneumann. Now, how about some crazy talk for the sake of crazy talk? Do you think IF (I know, but let’s have some fun with IF…) Hendry had a deal in place trading Soriano, Samarjdza and Lee (I said crazy!!) to the Nationals (I said crazy!!) for Kapps and Dunn, should he do it? KA RA ZEEEEEE, MAN!!! What am I smokin’???
But Dunn is the left handed power the Cubs could use in the middle of the line up and he is certainly no Lee at first but he is a better first baseman than Soriano is a left fielder.
Kapps is the set up man (if not CLOSER) the Cubs SHOULD have acquired and Colvin can then play left full time giving the Cubs a SOLID defensive outfield. C’mon, smoke the funny Cubbie cigarette with me!!!

Lol, there is no doubt that you were smokin’ the funny Cubby cigarette! That’s good stuff! If they were game, I would say go for it…it’s risky, but on the surface it looks like it’s worth the risk for the Cubs. The Nats would never do it, but it’s a fun thought, I’ll give you that!

Nothin’ like a little humor in what could be a loooong season. O.K. granted the Nats would never do it, really, who would? If the Cubs are ever going to get out from under “Hendry’s Albatros” it will have to be with an AL team in desperate need of a DH…hmmmm…THE WHITE SOX!!! They are always desperate for at least attention and a deal for Soriano would get attention, don’t you think? Now who can the ever shrewd Hendry pry away from Williams? Nobody, Williams would chew Hendry up. But maybe the BoSox?? IF, IF, IF only…

I don’t see why you think it’s going to be such a long season? At this point I see more hope for a very good season that for a poor season. Of course I can’t say that I’m convinced of anything yet…but the signs are there. Good to great pitching, solid defense and an improving offense that shows signs of brilliance at times. I give them a solid shot to make some waves this season. Just please don’t start complaining about Rami like everyone else!

pman, I will not complain about Ramirez. I think he was one of Hendry’s rare yet excellent acquistions and believe he deserves as much a chance to turn his offense around as the next guy. I wouldn’t mind more occassional days off if only to help him work on his swing and to keep Tracy sharper and ready. I think it’s going to be a long season because of what just happened in Pittsburgh, Lou plays the lefty/righty card too often with people that don’t produce during their random starts instead of going with what was becoming a pretty good hitting line up. An off day, followed by a Lou brain cramp because OH MY GOD, WE’RE FACING A LEFTY!!! is indicative of what will happen throughout this season. The same old mindset exists with both Pinella and Hendry and all the while the Cards keep their pace up and the Cubs are still scrambling for the “correct lineup”. I can’t share your hope for a play-off run (if that’s the hope you see) and am only guardedly hopeful of a decent year. At this point I don’t see us challenging the Cards.

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