Colorado Rockies Need to Avoid the Carlos Zambrano Temptation
It’s tough to pitch in Coors Field, and the Colorado Rockies are always on the lookout for the naive young pitcher who doesn’t realize he’s supposed to get knocked around in the thin Denver air, or the older reclamation project who is willing to nudge his career ERA up a bit for the sake of pitching one more season.
Note to the Colorado Rockies, in particular, manager Walt Weiss:
No matter what anyone tells you, do not buy the bill of goods known as Carlos Zambrano.
No matter how desperate you feel you are for pitching, it’s not going to get any better with Zambrano. He may do a masterful job trying to convince you that his worst days are behind him and that his lifetime membership to Rageaholics Anonymous has brought him to inner peace, but the truth is he’s still the same volatile mediocre talent.
Just look at his work in the World Baseball Classic, when he was supposedly playing for national pride, and not an overly-fattened paycheck. Team Venezuela only trusted him on the mound for 3 2/3 innings, and he allowed two runs, and had absolutely zero giddyap on his fastball.
If a free agent right-handed pitcher is still looking for work at this point–given the shortage of pitching in the league–there has to be a reason. Zambrano has torched every bridge with an extra can of kerosene just for good measure, as the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins–where he had an ERA of 4.66 in his last two seasons–can attest to.
The Rockies are much better off not even considering a one-year performance based contract for Zambrano, who would be such a black cloud in the clubhouse that rain gear would be mandatory for all.
It would be one thing if Zambrano could overcome the pitcher’s doom of Coors Field and be their go-to guy and/or losing streak stopper. Given those circumstances, the team could probably deal with some of his antics, but that’s not the Carlos Zambrano they would get.