This was mentioned in a bullet yesterday morning, but, as the gravity of the injury has appeared to increase, it now merits its own post.

On Friday night, Chicago Cubs’ starter Carlos Zambrano, who is pitching in Venezuela in the hopes of getting back into pitching form and rehabilitating his value (to the Cubs or another team), was hit in the face by a line drive. It was actually second liner that hit him in the face in the game, and Zambrano managed to pick up the ball and throw to first for the out.

Zambrano was taken to the hospital “as a precaution,” or so the early reports said, and got a few stitches.

Well, a “few” stitches turned out to be 16, and Ozzie Guillen just tweeted: “just saw big z scar wow its bigger then I thought. If he makes next start. #allmanteam.”

I’ve also ready in various places that, for now, Z is on an all-liquid diet, and, after seeing a video of the injury (thanks to BNer Cliffy for passing it along), I can see why. Zambrano takes a direct shot line drive to his face, just below his mouth, and starts bleeding immediately.

The Cubs have been in contact with Zambrano, who reportedly says he’s fine and wants to make his next start. Zambrano’s boss in Venezuela, Caribes GM Sam Moscatel, says the same. “He’s a bull,” Moscatel said. “He’s OK. We spoke [Friday] night after he had the surgery, and he said he wants to make his next start on Friday.

Hopefully he can do so, and doesn’t suffer any setbacks – in terms of his pitching re-development – because of the injury. Zambrano had his best outing yet – 5 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K – in Friday’s start.

  • Caleb

    Say what you want about him, but Z is a tough bastard.


    • Odd


      How many players would have laid face down on the mound for five minutes while trainers crowded him, then helped him off the field?

    • Internet Random

      This was my thought verbatim, except that my inner voice said “no pussy” instead of “tough bastard”.

    • miggy80

      Agreed Caleb say what you want to about Big Z, but it wasn’t fun watching him get hit. He held his own kind of like that time A.J. Pierzynski got hit. The White Sox turned that into a pretty good commercial.

    • Ol’CharlieBrown

      No doubt. He took that shot like a beast. I never suspected it but now we know, Big Z doesn’t have a glass jaw, that’s for damn sure. It’s like it didn’t even phase him. I couldn’t believe how fast he grabbed the ball and threw it to first. Glad to hear he’s ok. That’s always scary.

  • Corey

    How do you like the idea of a Carlos minus 30 lbs of flab from a liquid diet, pitching hard to prove his value in a contract year? If he’s gotta be a Cub, I think this could ultimately be a good thing.

  • clark addison

    Watching Zambrano make the play on that ball, he’s an athlete. Possibly the best athlete on the Cubs.

    Also he’s tough. If somebody can channel that athleticism and toughness, they’ll have a top of the line pitcher. And hitter.

  • Dougy D

    I am not impressed nor unimpressed. If you can make a play, make it. Hopefully he will be making plays for Ozzie Guillen next year.

  • Mayor1969

    Hopefully some dumbass GM will gamble on Z and take him off our hands. Theo needs to keep pumping up his supposed value like he’s been doing.

  • Cliffy


    Catcher Geovany Soto
    First Base Dan Vogelbach
    Second Base Zeke DeVoss
    Third Base Javier Baez
    Shortstop Starlin Castro
    Left Field Josh Vitters
    Center Field Matt Szczur
    Right Field Brett Jackson
    No. 1 Starter Matt Garza
    No. 2 Starter Andrew Cashner
    No. 3 Starter Trey McNutt
    No. 4 Starter Dillon Maples
    No. 5 Starter Dae-Eun Rhee

    Closer Carlos Marmol

    Note: Dae-Eun Rhee was left unprotected

    Looks like a lot of speed. Guessing Soto and Marmol won’t be here by then either.

  • Roland

    I know they use our current minors for that, but it  is unrealistic to think all those players will be on our roster. Let alone that they will be all major league talent. They also forgot Ben Wells who will probably be one of our pitchers who will be on the major league team.

    • Luke

      I don’t think Ben Wells will be ready by 2015. 2016 is more likely.

  • Jim Kress

    How bout this for a start to the 2013 roster (with hope that under Sveum some of these start to swing a nice bat)
    1b P. Fielder (I think he’d be a great addition and big piece to the lineup for the future)
    2b D.J. LeMahiue (Decent speed and D skills, work on the bat and I like it)
    SS S. Castro (Work on D and we all know where this kid will end up )
    3b C. Headley (Good D and great bat away from Petco, I’m hopeful for Headley Lamarr)
    LF B. Jackson (We all know what his potential is, lets hope it pans out)
    CF T. Campana (Great speed is something the Cubs never utilize, need to work on contact though)
    RF Y. Cespedes (Great upside, could possibly turn into something huge)
    C Y. Molina (Cards wont be able to afford him, we need the D, good bat ’nuff said)

    • Luke

      I can’t see Campana earning a starting job. His speed good enough that, in my mind, he has the 5th outfield and primary pinch runner duties all but locked up. I think his job is probably safe. But I just can’t see him as a regular starting outfielder. I might be tempted to started him in center instead of Jackson against lefties, though.

      With that in mind, move Jackson back to center and slot Byrd and / or Colvin in left.

      Also, I don’t see the Cubs going after Molina even if they do trade Soto. I don’t think the production / defense they would get from him would be so much better than what Castillo / Clevenger could provide as to make the added cost worth it. If the Cubs don’t platoon Castillo and Clevenger (which would be understandable), then I think they’d be more likely keep Clevenger in AAA, start Castillo, and sign a veteran back up (which, oddly enough, could possibly be Koyie Hill

    • Kyle

      Not a bad effort, for the most part, but a few quibbles:

      I think LeMahieu profiles to a below-average defensive 2b. He just doesn’t have the lateral quickness.

      Campana really has no place in the majors except as a fifth outfielder/pinch runner.

      Jackson and Cespedes both lose a lot of their value if they have to play corner outfield spots. That’d be the most epic defensive outfield I’ve ever seen, but this entire team might not hit 150 HRs despite having Fielder. I’m not sure there’s enough offense there.

      • JulioZuleta

        I was thinking the same thing. Not a whole lot of power, and if Tony Campana is ever a starter, we’re in trouble.

      • Luke

        That lineup could score some runs if they could work the hit-and-run much better than any Cub team I can remember. It would have the speed to drive pitchers to distraction.

        LeMahieu’s got a reputation as a fairly hard working guy. I think he’ll be well above average defensively on the balls he gets two, and he’ll be a nice, big double play target for Castro. But I’m also skeptical of his first step. I think he’ll hold the job for awhile due to his bat, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Logan Watkins ultimately takes it from him.

        • Jim Kress

          Ok the how bout this. BJax in center. Cespedes in L/RF. Campana a 4th OF/PH. Get a huge free agent to play L/RF. Don’t go after Molina then (although he’s defensively the best C available also a great contact hitter and good eye at the plate ) use Castillo as C to save money for a huge guy like Hamilton. Considering he IS a free agent after 2012 like Molina

          • Q

            campana is not a ML player.

  • Cliffy

    The Boston Red Sox owned Liverpool soccer team plays today unless Lucchino decides he wants better compensation from Chelsea.

  • Deez

    Even w/ his faults, I’ve always liked Big Z because of all the Cubs, he has “Heart.”
    He wants to win!
    How many MLBers (not just pitchers) takes a liner to the face then makes the play?

    • Tyler

      Thats what I thought when I saw that, only someone who is crazy and wants to win would still make the play and act like nothing ever happened.

      • BetterNews

        Yep. Crazy!

  • Cliffy

    QT @phildaddy606: Phillies have received Ty Wiggington from the Rockies for PTBNL and cash

    Wiggington would have been nice pickup for Cubs for 3rd base insurance. 15 Hrs. Last year salary was 3.5 million

    • Cliffy

      QT @Buster_ESPN: Rockies will pay $2 million of the $4 million owed to Wigginton for the 2012 season.

      • hansman1982

        still not worth it – his bWAR over 10 seasons is .6 – that is 1 win over his entire career that he would provide. At $2million Philly is overpaying

    • BetterNews

      Vitters will be at 3rd. I think thats a done deal, right or wrong. I am so glad Ramirez is gone! Will not to hear the word “Rammy” anymore! And he just”plucked”(LOL)

      • Kyle

        Vitters will be at third in the sense of “he will be playing 3rd base for the Iowa Cubs, and he will never play another position long-term because he has no value as a prospect if he can’t handle a position on the left half of the defensive spectrum”? Then yes, it’s a done deal.

        Vitters will be at third in the sense of “he will be the Chicago Cubs’ 3rd baseman in 2012”? There is roughly the same chance of that happening as there is of the Cubs selling Wrigley Field to the White Sox for nineteen dollars and eight cents.

        • BetterNews

          Isn’t that what they said about Castro? Just AAA material? Hello.

          • Sweetjamesjones

            Who is “they?” I never heard this about Castro, you know since he went from AA ball to the majors and made a significant impact on the Cubs.

            Seriously your trolling really is tiresome. (LOL LOL).

            • BetterNews

              Pay attention boy! That was my point. Do you need glasses? You are not Sweet. Just dead meat!(LOL)

          • Kyle

            I don’t recall anybody worth paying attention to who said that.

  • Cliffy

    The red sox are still looking for a manager, we still owe them some type of compensation. Send em Quade, and his salary is paid next year already problem solved.

  • Mike F

    I’m curious, what makes you think Vitters is a done deal. That’s not a challenge just a question. I think they will emphasize defense and he’s kind of a guy without a position. I think he also has to prove in spring training, if they don’t package him for a pitcher that he can hit consistently and work deep into counts at the ML level. I can see them giving him a chance, it there’s not a better option but am curious as to the done deal.

    Cespedes is also drawing a lot of skepticism as to his ability to hit major league pitching consistently. Lot’s of raw power and athleticism but equal concerns about plate discipline. Seems to me, at the money he wants, you absolutely have to be sure he’s the real deal. At 26…ummmmm do we really trust the broken down Cuban Castro regime to be able to tell ages correctly and the huge dollars, this guy is no bargain and more of a risk than people think. I personally would rather see what Jackson is going to do, unless they intend to play Cespedes in CF and trade Jackson in a larger package.

    • BetterNews

      Mike—Who can you picture at 3rd. Please don’t say Baker or I will jump off the Wrigley scoreboard!

      • duck

        I could only hope.

        • BetterNews

          A “duck” at third? Thats what we had!(LOL) Went under water everytime he had to.

      • Q

        Baker,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, kidding don’t jump. i’d like to see Dale have an open mind and give this kid Lake a “real see” in ST. i say that just so all the kids can feel they have a shot. as for Cespedes, how many Cuban position players have come straight to the ML’s and hit? another thing is his age, I’d still take a chance, lol. Vitters a man without a position, if he hits, LF. now i’ll jump off the board.

        • Pat

          I don’t like anyone earning a shot through spring training. Talk about small samples. You might as well give the position out through the lottery.

      • JulioZuleta