In American Association Daily, former Major Leaguer Carlos Zambrano joins the Chicago Dogs looking to resurrect his career in hopes of returning to the Big Leagues one day.
Carlos Zambrano Signed by Chicago Dogs
He was once considered one of the most feared pitchers in the National League, and now RHP Carlos Zambrano returns to the city where he made his name, joining the Chicago Dogs. Zambrano joins former Major League standout Rafael Palmeiro as players joining the American Association looking to get another shot at the top tier of baseball.
A Solid Major League Career
Carlos Zambrano was a big, fiery right-hander that became one of the most feared pitchers in all of baseball. He broke into the Majors in 2001, appearing in six games, but would become a fixture in the Chicago Cubs pitching staff for the next 10 seasons. In 2006, the big right-hander went 16-7, leading the Majors in victories.
Twice he struck out more than 200 batters in a season, including that phenomenal 2006 season. Zambrano tossed 214.0 innings that season, making 33 starts, and was chosen as an All-Star for the second time in his career. He would earn three All-Star selections in his career.
He also showed he had some pop in his bat, winning the Silver Slugger award in 2006 after hitting six homers while driving in 11 runs.
His last season in the Majors was in 2012 when he pitched for the Miami Marlins. He was 7-10 that season with a 4.49 ERA.
In his 12 year Major League career, Zambrano was 132-91 with a 3.66 ERA. He tossed nearly 2000.0 innings, striking out 1637. From 2003-2008 he won at least 13 games in each of those seasons, including a career high 18-13 in 2007. He won 91 total games during that six year run.
Five times in his career Zambrano tossed at least 200 innings in a season, including a single season-high 223.1 in 2005. He also was not one to give up the long ball, finishing his career with a 0.6 homerun per nine inning ratio.
The righty also had a pretty solid career at the plate. In 744 career plate appearances, Zambrano hit .238 with 24 homers and 71 runs drive in.
Making a Comeback
In 2014, Carlos Zambrano stepped away from baseball, but would return in 2018 to pitch for Yucatan (Mexican League). He made seven starts, going 2-1 that season, while posting a 5.18 ERA. The right-hander joined Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League this past off-season, going 1-3 in 19 appearances.
Zambrano will be 37 when the Chicago Dogs season gets underway, but he is looking around at the success that some are having who are even older than him and is believing that he has a chance to return to the Majors one day.
‘Why not?’’ Zambrano rhetorically asked Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘Bartolo (Colon) pitched until he was 45. I’m 37.’’
The right-hander will be attempting to resurrect his career as a reliever. He has had a colorful past, but age has added a new level of wisdom that has lit a fire under the righty. ‘‘Now I want to play. Now I want to see what happens.’’
By Robert Pannier