"Daily Herald reports Chicago Cubs SP Carlos Zambrano pitched a bullpen session last week with pitching coach Larry Rothschild in the hopes of finding a flaw in his mechanics. The Cubs want Zambrano to tighten his delivery to not give away his pitches early. "
Considering that he went out after that session and gave up 7 ER in 6.2 innings, I'd say... well, I honestly don't know what to say. Anyone care to talk a Zambrano owner off the bridge?
From a huge fan and avid reader of all news regarding Cubs, trust me that it will not be working with Larry Rothschild that will fix Zambrano. He is notoriously old school in that he will not encourage pitchers to alter their mechanics and has a reputation with baseball people and educated fans alike of doing absolutely nothing at all in general to fix pitcher's problems. Zambrano has succeeded in spite of Rothschild all these years while the Cubs have failed to develop any other pitchers of note (besides maybe R Hill).
More than likely, Zambrano is struggling to keep his emotions in check (as always), pitching nervously due to contract pressure, and has even been stung by poor relief efforts by the Cubby bullpen/defense. Three extra earned runs charged to him after Cotts gave up a slam to Pierzynski, earlier a run scored (earned) on a Soriano miff of a pop-up, and at least one other incident of relief pitching coming in with his runners on and walking in two runs in a row, both charged to Zambrano. His HR rate is unusually high, and I noticed that last year he seemed to be giving up more HRs than before, but this year it is out of hand. He does need to get his ball down much more often, like in the past.
I still think Big Z will be fine. Obviously he won't win the Cy Young as he predicted (unless he just goes Koufax on everyone), but he should be putting up good numbers soon once he settles down, the relief corps irons out the wrinkles, and the D shows up.
I agree with the above poster...being a Cubs fan (and a big fan of Big Z going into this season) I've been trying to keep up with everything. Big Z's bullpen session was BEFORE his game with the Mets, and he cruised against the Mets (1 ER in 8 IP) and had only given up 3 ER and 6 H/1 BB through 6.2 IP...and then he hit Uribe, walked Thome after having him 0-2, then Soriano misplayed a foul ball in left field (next pitch the guy got a base hit)...another hit, another walk...Cotts came in for Big Z and GRAND SLAM...he'll be fine.
He has changed his delivery. It is more closed and he's not throwing the ball as hard on the first pitch or two (88-90)...but then he rears back and hits 95 later on in the count...IMO...a great buy low guy (but I'm bleeding Cubbie blue right now...) HA!
Agree w the Rothschild comments. Why Lou kept a guy who has overseen the demise of Prior and Wood and numerous young pitchers who coincidentally get hurt 2 weeks after they're with the big club I'll never know. Sean Marshall, a guy who never had any arm trouble in his career suddenly gets injured last year after a couple starts. And I know there was one more last year. Just a joke. If I'm CZam, I might have to go BB style and bring in my own personal coach.
I don't honestly believe it was Lou's choice to keep him and Lou was probably told before joining the Cubs that Rothschild would be his PC. I know Hendry was "impressed" w Roths' loyalty for not leaving for Detroit when he had a chance. I believe his contract is done this year, so hopefully he will be gone. Or maybe sooner if nothing gets straightened out w the 9 pitchers who aren't named Marquis and Lilly.
I traded him for Verlander, personally I believe while he may still have a fair amount of W's this year (14-16) I think his ERA/WHIP will balloon and his K totals will be down. I see a 14 W, 4.12, 1.4 Whip, 175 K type year.. In years past by now he's approaching a sub 3 era. I just had enough of the the 6 IP, 4 ER, 4 K, 4 BB games and luckily the Cubs bailed him out in a few of those games.