One of Theo Epstein’s tallest tasks as general manager of the Cubs will be to figure out what to do with Carlos Zambrano. When he has his wits about him and approaches the came with a level head, Big Z can be one of the best pitchers in the game. The problem is that rarely happens. Despite Zambrano insisting he was cured of his anger management issues, he was the same old Carlos on multiple occasions last year. However, he insists he is committed to the Cubs heading into 2012 and has been training Rocky Balboa style.
“I’m preparing like when I was a rookie, climbing mountains, running on the beach, and exercising hard so that I can arrive at Spring Training in optimal shape,” Zambrano said according to a translation at MLBTradeRumors.com. “I want to stay in Chicago for the two seasons I still have with the team. I’m not a coward who would take the back door out of the majors.”
That sounds like a different guy from the one who literally walked out on his teammates last year and contemplated retirement. As frightening as it may seem, Chicago could really use Zambrano if they want to make a run. His stuff can be unhittable at times. The problem is his lack of focus. Will Dale Sveum — a guy who has never had experience managing at the major league level — be able to get anything from a nut like Zambrano? That, among a long list of other potential issues, will be something to monitor in Chicago next season.Google+