Perhaps the most shocking part about Carlos Zambrano’s move to the bullpen was the fact that no local cats were eaten, and no underpants were worn on any heads. In sum, Zambrano didn’t go crazy. In fact, Zambrano has been downright cool about the whole thing, and has really stepped up to help out the team.

But that doesn’t mean he’s thrilled about it.

Carlos Zambrano talked late this afternoon for the first time since he made his 2010 bullpen debut Saturday in Milwaukee. Although he said he feels good and will do anything for the team, he said he still thinks of himself as a starting pitcher.

“I’m not ‘happy’ happy about this decision, but I feel good,” he said. “I feel good to help my team and to do everything to help us solve whatever the problem is.”

The “problem” was the Cubs’ late-inning bullpen situation. The Cubs brass, including GM Jim Hendry and manager Lou Piniella are putting no timetable on Big Z’s time in the pen, but Z reiterated that he believes the move is temporary.

“Yeah,” he said. “That was what Lou said. That is what we agreed. They are looking for a setup man. This is what they told me. I don’t think I will be too long in this role. I will be there to when they need me.” Blogs.

Always a good strategy to announce to the rest of the league that your bullpen “fix” is just temporary while you scour for another reliever. Why, yes Mr. Colletti, I would like to throw in Josh Vitters.

For what it’s worth, Zambrano’s account of the move stands in contrast to Lou Piniella’s. Lou has said that the move is for an indefinite period of time, likely no shorter than six weeks (short of an acquisition). I guess it depends on each’s definition of “temporary.”

  • jstraw

    Eh, much ado about nothing. Carlos’ statements have the ring of truth and sound reasonable…he’s just being more candid about things than Lou, who knows more about PR and the company line and negotiating positions than Z. Nothing Z said is going to make other GM’s say “Gee,” I had no idea that the Cubs needed a setup man and thanks to Zambrano’s loose lips I’m in an enviable bargaining position.

    • Ace

      If you were right, there would be no need for Piniella and Hendry to keep suggesting the move is for an “indefinite” time period. And yet they do.

  • BT

    Also, “looking” for a setup man could also include hoping that one of the many in house candidates actually steps up. If not, I don’t think it takes a mind reader of a rival GM to figure out the Cubs would be in the market for an 8th inning guy.

    • Ace

      Bit of a difference between sending Gorzelanny to the pen and other teams continue to speculate that the Cubs need a bullpen arm, and sending your huge money ace to the pen with a wink and a nod promise that the move was temporary.

      • jstraw

        Ace, I just can’t make sense out of this notion that the Cubs could camouflage their need for an arm in the pen. I think sending your ace to the pen pretty much screams that. Z doesn’t add anything to the conversation by saying it’s temporary or not temporary or whatever. You got an effective middle reliever we can have for a fraction of what we’re spending to shorten Zambrano’s arm? We can talk. Any GM that figures to go into sell mode and that has relievers marked with sell-by dates has Hendry on speed dial already.

  • Kevin G

    The best setup man the cubs could get is Gregerson of the padres, but that not going to happen if the Padres keep winning. On a side note about that if the Padres keep winning and the Cubs are out the the race. Derek Lee becomes worth alot more to contending teams Like the Braves, Red Sox or Mariners. Just a thought.