Starter to Setup: Big Z in Bullpen

Cubs move Carlos Zambrano to bullpen

By Jenel Nels
|  Thursday, Apr 22, 2010  |  Updated 7:05 AM CDT
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Carlos Zambrano: Starting Pitcher

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The Chicago Cubs highest paid pitcher, Carlos Zambrano is about to make some pen pals.

In a shocking move for Cubs fans, Cubs Manager Lou Piniella moved Big Z to the bullpen yesterday to make room on the starting rotation for the return of Ted Lilly.

The Cubs bullpen is 1-6 with a 6.15 ERA. Piniella hopes Big Z can help stabilize the problems in the pen, while serving as a setup man for closer Carlos Marmol.

"I talked to Carlos [Zambrano] today and told him we really needed him in the bullpen, and that we felt he could do a nice job for us," Piniella said on the Cubs website. "He said he'd do what's best for the team.”

The Opening Day starter is 1-2 with a 7.25 ERA this season. He has not pitched in relief  since entering the big leagues in 2002.

"Lou called me into the office today and asked me if I wanted to go to the bullpen and help this team in the seventh and eighth innings," Zambrano said on the Cubs website. "I said, 'Whatever you want me to do, I'm here for this team and I'm here to help this team"

With a salary of $91.5 million, Carlos Zambrano is the fifth-highest-paid pitcher in the major league and number one among relief pitchers.

Zambrano believes the move will be temporary, but only time will tell.

How do you feel about the decision? Leave comments below:
 

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