Results tagged ‘ Carlos Zambrano ’

10 Decades, 10 Legends: 2000s—Carlos Zambrano

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(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

For our annual July All-Star issue, Vine Line set out to find the most valuable player from each 10-year span in Wrigley Field’s history to create a Cubs All-Star team for the ages. There are hundreds of ways to go about this, so we simplified things by using the baseball statistics website Fangraphs to find the player with the highest Wins Above Replacement total for each decade.

Wins Above Replacement, better known as WAR, takes all of a player’s statistics—both offensive and defensive—and outputs them into a single number designed to quantify that player’s total contributions to his team (though for pitchers, we used only their mound efforts and excluded offensive stats). For our purposes, a player received credit only for the numbers he posted in each individual decade and only for the years he was a member of the Cubs.

In the final installment of our 10 Decades, 10 Legends series, we look at the eccentric and exciting Carlos Zambrano. Though it might come as a surprise to some to see Big Z on the list, he had very solid numbers throughout the 2000s.

Previous Decades:
1910s – Hippo Vaughn
1920s – Grover Cleveland Alexander
1930s – Billy Herman
1940s – Bill Nicholson
1950 – Ernie Banks
1960s – Ron Santo
1970s – Rick Reuschel
1980s – Ryne Sandberg
1990s – Mark Grace

2000s – Carlos Zambrano, 26.5 WAR

Seasons: 2001-09
W-L: 105-68
G-GS: 259-238
IP: 1,549.0
K: 1,324
K/9: 7.70
ERA: 3.51

Say what you will about Carlos Zambrano’s time on the North Side. Sure, some of his most memorable moments in a Cubs uniform occurred inside the dugout, including a scuffle with teammate Michael Barrett in 2007 and a few notable run-ins with the beleaguered Gatorade dispenser.

But at the beginning of Big Z’s career, he was an animal on the bump as well. The hard-throwing Venezuelan made his debut in August 2001 and became a workhorse soon after, logging five consecutive seasons with 200-plus innings from 2003-07. During that time, he made three All-Star teams, finished in the top five in Cy Young voting three times, led the NL in wins in 2006 and earned MVP votes in 2004.

The right-hander was the only NL pitcher to win 13 or more games each year from 2003-08, and he served as the Cubs’ Opening Day starter from 2005-10.

Zambrano’s finest effort in a Cubs uniform came on Sept. 14, 2008, when he tossed the club’s first no-hitter in 36 years, striking out 10 batters and walking one in 110 pitches against the Astros. By the end of the 2000s, his numbers had slipped dramatically, and he was out of the game at age 31.

Winter League Highlights: Valbuena part of late heroics

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

As if Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena hasn’t played a big enough role for the Cardenales de Lara in Venezuela’s championship series against Magallanes, the 27-year-old was heavily involved in his team’s 3-2, 11-inning, Game 5 victory Monday night.

Valbuena finished the night 1-for-4 with a pivotal run scored. He singled to right in the sixth and moved to third after a C.J. Retherford single. But Valbuena was thrown out at home trying to score on a sacrifice fly to center, leaving the game tied at 2.

With a man on in the bottom of the 11th, Valbuena reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt. With runners on first and second, Retherford also attempted a bunt, but Magallanes got the runner at third. After Tomas Perez walked to load the bases, Jose Yepez singled to center to score Valbuena and give Lara a 3-2 series lead.

Former Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano started for the Navegantes, allowing eight hits, one earned run and striking out five over six innings.

Game six is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30.

Old faces in new places

When looking at the 2011-12 offseason, there is one word that best describes the Chicago Cubs from top to bottom: Change.

The Ricketts group hired Theo Epstein to act as President of Baseball Operations and subsequently hired a new GM in Jed Hoyer. Payroll was cut in favor of stocking the farm system, and probably most important, many player moves were made. While the Cubs signed a plethora of young talent hoping to help the organization in the future, if not this year, many notable Cubs became “former Cubs” either by trade or free agency.

Let’s see how some of the old faces have fared thus far with their new teams:

Andrew Cashner: Cubs 2008-11; Traded to Padres Jan. 2012
Spring Training line: 8 IP, 11 K’s, 6 HA, ER, 1.13 ERA

Tyler Colvin: Cubs 2006-11; Traded to Rockies Dec. 2011
Spring Training line: 41 AB, HR, 10 RBI, 16 hits, .390/.429/.610

Sean Marshall: Cubs 2003-11; Traded to Reds Dec. 2011
Spring Training line: 8 IP, 12 K’s, 5 HA, 4 ER, 4.50 ERA

Carlos Pena: Cubs 2011; Free agent signed with Rays Jan. 2012
Spring Training line: 28 AB, 0 HR, RBI, 4 hits, .143/.333/.250

Aramis Ramirez: Cubs 2003-11; Free agent signed with Brewers Dec. 2011
Spring Training line: 32 AB, HR, 2 RBI, 8 hits, .250/.273/.406

Carlos Zambrano: Cubs 1997-11; Traded to Marlins Jan. 2012
Spring Training line: 13.2 IP, 17 K’s, 14 HA, 7 ER, 4.61 ERA

Zambrano dealt to Marlins for RHP Chris Volstad

The Chicago Cubs continued to rebuild their pitching staff with the acquisition of Miami Marlins right-hander Chris Volstad for volatile righty Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano waived his no-trade clause and will join friend and countryman Ozzie Guillen in Miami after 11 seasons and 125 wins with the North Siders.

The dependable 25-year-old Volstad has a career record of 32-39 with a 4.59 ERA in parts of four major league seasons. The former first-rounder struggled in 29 starts with the Marlins last year, but finished strong after a brief demotion to Triple-A. Volstad, who will not be a free agent until after the 2014 season, joins Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells and the newly acquired Travis Wood in the Cubs 2012 rotation.

Read the full press release below:

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad from the Miami Marlins for right-handed pitcher Carlos Zambrano and a cash consideration.

Volstad, 25, is 32-39 with a 4.59 ERA (298 ER/584.0 IP) in 103 major league appearances (102 starts) with the Marlins the last four seasons (2008-11).  The 6-foot-8, 230-pound righthander has made at least 29 starts for the Marlins each of the last three years, including a career-best 30 starts in 2010 when he went 12-9 with a 4.58 ERA (89 ER/175.0 IP).

Originally selected by the Marlins in the first round (16th overall) of the 2005 Draft out of high school, Volstad made his major league debut with the Marlins midway through the 2008 campaign at the age of 21, going 6-4 with a 2.88 ERA (27 ER/84.1 IP) in 15 big league outings, 14 as a starting pitcher his rookie season.  He made his first major league Opening Day roster in 2009 and went 9-13 with a 5.21 ERA (92 ER/159.0 IP) in 29 starts during his first full big league season that year.  Volstad followed up with his strongest full major league campaign in 2010.

Volstad went 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA (90 ER/165.2 IP) in 29 starts last year with the Marlins.  He finished strong by posting a 2.41 ERA (10 ER/37.1 IP) in his final six starts, allowing two earned runs or less in each of his final six outings while tossing at least six innings in five of those starts.  Volstad began the season with the big league club but was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on July 23.  He was recalled to the big leagues on August 12 and, despite going winless, posted a 3.48 ERA (21 ER/54.1 IP) in nine starts upon his return to the majors.

A native of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Volstad graduated from Palm Beach Gardens High School in 2005.

Zambrano departs the Cubs with a 125-81 record and a 3.60 ERA (731 ER/1,826.2 IP) in 319 appearances, 282 as a starter, in 11 seasons (2001-11).  He went 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA (78 ER/145.2 IP) in 24 starts for the Cubs last year before being placed on the disqualified list on August 13, missing the remainder of the season.

Originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on July 12, 1997, Zambrano holds the franchise record with 23-career home runs as a pitcher.

1000 Words: Pick on someone your own size

Carlos Zambrano, winning pitcher of yesterday’s game, lifts 5-foot-8 Tony Campana in front of all his friends. (Photo by Stephen Green)

From our family to yours: Thank you, Cubs fans

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The entire Cubs organization had a blast thanking fans for their tremendous support and attendance throughout the 2010 season. On Sunday, everyone from players to seasonal associates to executives chipped in to give our personal gratitude.

Players took a lap around the field and threw autographed baseballs into the crowd, like Carlos Marmol above. Ryan Dempster perched himself at third base and chucked baseballs as far as the upper deck. The fan response was tremendous.

Todd terrace 2.JPGTom, Laura and Todd Ricketts split up between all of Wrigley Field’s gates and were joined by front office associates to welcome fans before the game. I saw a number of people getting their tickets, jerseys and promotional Kernel Fabyan’s popcorn buckets signed by the Rickettses. Our team photographer, Stephen Green, captured Todd later walking around terrace reserved handing out signed-and-dated baseballs to kids, something ownership has been quietly doing all season long.

After the game, Mike Quade walked along the third base line to sign autographs and take photos with anyone whom asked.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgThe last game of the season was bittersweet: On the one hand, it’s always great to have an opportunity to celebrate the Cubs’ special bond with their fans, especially under the new ownership’s fan-friendly focus. On the other, it was hard not to look around the ballpark — the ivy changing color, the packed house, the organ music and the other little details that tend to slip by in the middle of the season — and want just another day or series or month to the season.

Hey, at least we have the 26th Cubs Convention in just 108 days. (Individual passes go on sale soon, but hotel rooms at the Hilton Chicago — with heavily discounted passes — are available now.)

– Sean Ahmed

More of Steve’s photos below the jump.

(more…)

Still all about the team

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    MESA, Ariz.–In 1987, after Andre Dawson got plunked by the Padres’ Eric Show, a young Greg Maddux was told not to retaliate. If he did, he’d be on the first bus back to Triple A.

Still just trying earn his keep at the big-league level, Maddux did not heed those words and uncorked a fastball at Benito Santiago. He wasn’t sent down right away, but he did earn respect.

“It’s all about the team,” he told me, when recalling that story a couple of years ago.

Maddux back small.jpgOn Monday, the man who probably will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball history took his turn….throwing batting practice.

It was very non-descript. I’m not sure anyone else saw it. And in his illustrious career, it was the FIRST time he had ever done it. He’s thrown BP to his kids before, but all these years he’s been in camp as a player and never done it.

In the cage were three young catchers–Robinson Chrinios, Blake Lalli and Steve Clevenger. All three probably hadn’t been born or at least were toddlers when Maddux plunked that guy nearly 23 years ago.

There might be a little paunch to his middle these days, but excuse the guy for enjoying himself a little after spending more than two decades winning 355 games, throwing over 5,000 innings and striking out 3,371 men.

“The game gave me more than I could ever want or ever hope for,” Maddux said. “It’s just nice to be back in it and try and give back and help the players and team. That’s what it’s all about. You help the players, hopefully the team wins more games.”

maddux throwing small.jpgHe was huffing and puffing a little bit out there. “Yeah, throwing BP let’s you know how out of shape you are,” he laughed. “It’s OK for the first 10 minutes, then toward the end you’re sucking wind.”

After the session was over I spied Clevenger packing up his bat and helmet. It was then he gave a quick glance out to the mound. While Maddux was picking up balls–just like any other guy–Clevenger shook his head and smiled a big ol’ grin as if to say, “Man, that was pretty cool. I hit BP off of Greg Maddux.”

“Well, hopefully these young guys realize they are good enough to be in the big leagues,” Maddux said. “I hope they understand to work hard to be successful. Because what this game can do for you and your family is incredible, so they should take advantage of that.”

NOTES FROM THE DAY 2:

– Carlos Silva pitched for the first time. He looked decent. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild encouraged him to drive more off his back leg.

– Geovany Soto returned to action, looking fit and solid.

– During double play drills and infield practice, it was amazing to see how smooth Andres Blanco is at shortstop.

– Rookie Starlin Castro looked good during live BP, raking several John Grabow offerings into left field. Line drives, not flyballs, mind you.

– Xavier Nady sat out outfield cutoff drills because of his arm, on which he had Tommy John surgery last year. He stood next to manager Lou Piniella, talking about angles of pursuit.

– It was the “Carlos Show” with Silva and both Zambrano and Marmol throwing live BP. Both looked good, throwing hard and crisp.

–Mike Huang

Vine Line subscribers  will read more of this Greg Maddux interview in the coming months in Vine Line and its new landing page on cubs.com, soon to debut this month.The page will include stories from the current month’s issue, a photo gallery from Steve Green and video from spring training and Wrigley Field, during the season.

To subscribe to Vine Line, visit http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/fan_forum/vineline.jsp

 

Welcome back … to business

Theriot, SS
Bradley, RF
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Fukudome, CF
Soriano, LF Fox, LF
Soto, C
Fontenot, 2B
Zambrano, RHP

Right-hander Garrett Mock (2-5, 5.10 ERA) pitches for the Nationals.

Welcome back!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgFormer Cubs manager Jim Riggleman (1995-99) and Cubs minor-league coach and skipper Pat Listach (2002-08) are visiting town with the Nationals. Riggleman was named interim manager earlier this season, and Listach currently is the team’s third base coach.

Our November 2008 issue of Vine Line caught up with Riggleman, back when he was wrapping up an interim term with the Mariners. Riggleman reflected on his eight-year absence from big-league managing as well as his time with the Cubs, which included the great wild-card season of 1998 as well as the rough starts in ’97 and ’99.

“I feel like, other than my mother and my son [Jon], this is really what consumes my thoughts,” he told Vine Line‘s “Alumni Notebook.” “I love managing a ballgame. I love managing a ballclub. … Ultimately, it’s a player’s game. You may have an impact in a few games.”

“I have no negative or hard feelings about what happened [when he was let go in '99]. I had four and a half great years. Everything I own in my personal life is due to my time here with the Cubs. I had a lot of fun here. I would have liked to have been here another 10 years.”

Welcome back (too)!

And of course, Carlos Zambrano gets to put his ab work to, well, work today. The team activated him from the 15-day DL and optioned right-hander Esmailin Caridad to Triple A.

Of abs and backs

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Wrigley Field tour patrons got a pleasant surprise when Carlos Zambrano walked right next to them for a mid-afternoon workout today. In preparation for his rehab start in low Class-A Peoria on Thursday, “Z” played some long toss in the outfield before throwing a short bullpen session. He then started doing sprints around the basepaths, doing several for single, double, triple and home run lengths.

You can check out the Peoria Chiefs’ site for details on purchasing tickets for Thursday’s start.

Lineups and happenings

Johnson, CF
Theriot, SS
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Bradley, RF
Soriano, LF
Baker, 2B
Hill, C
Zambrano, RHP

Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (10-6, 2.72 ERA) pitches for the Astros.

Homestand happenings

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpg? Milt Pappas was at Wrigley Field on Friday, the day after Mark Buehrle threw an exciting perfect game down on the South Side. Pappas, of course, narrowly missed his own perfect game Sept. 2, 1972, on a controversial ball-four call with two outs in the ninth. He did finish with a no-hitter, the last until Carlos Zambrano’s last season.

? Today, Chicago Cubs Charities will be presenting a $50,000 check to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). A total of $150,000 raised in connection with the recent concerts at Wrigley Field will be donated to organizations serving Chicago.

? Yesterday was Lou Gehrig Day at the ballpark, hosted by the Les Turner ALS Foundation. Lou Piniella, who himself lost his father-in-law to ALS, annually does public-service announcements and hosts a charity golf tournament for the organization. A few weeks ago, I talked with Lou about the organization’s charitable work, and here’s what he had to say:

“[Community work is] one of the things we do here, and I like this aspect of the organization a lot. And we adhere it, and we’re happy to do so. Family is so important. The health of a family and well-being of a family is so important. So we bend over backwards here to make this as family friendly as we can. We recognize that baseball games are important, but we recognize la familia is the most important.”

? Tying into Chicago’s 2016 bid, Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Shawn Johnson will be singing the stretch tonight.

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