Lou's decision to turn Carlos Zambrano left me dumbfounded, perplexed and utterly baffled. It makes no sense to take one of your better pitchers, someone who routinely throws 180-200 innings, and put him in a role where he'll throw a 3rd of that. It's obvious why he did it, and it has nothing to do with any bad preferences by Z., he's the only starter who could. But it's still an idiotic decision on multiple levels.
There are a multitude of things the Cubs could've done instead:
- Take closing away from Marmol. Yeah, he wouldn't be in favor of it. But allowing Marmol to have his previous role and come into any situation that is most pressing would be best for the team. Marmol was great at coming into pressure situations and getting it done, and I believe he still could. Plus, at least I believe, that a team's best reliever should have a role similar to Marmol's old one, and not be simply a 9th inning guy.
- Andrew Cashner. This is the most risky option. Cashner is just starting to come into his own with going an extended period of innings as a starter, but he was drafted as a reliever and has the pitch set for one. And well the Cubs certainly haven't shied away from switching pitchers between starting and relieving.
- Someone new from Iowa. Mitch Atkins, Blake Parker, Thomas Diamond. Could've been anyone. And it's not like they have no one to send down (Shark). The Cubs have been able to strike lightening in a bottle with guys they've brought up in recent years (09-Carlidid, 08- Shark 07- Hart)
- David Weathers. Probably the best option of any free agent reliever