4/27/09

Big Z Takes Grounders at 3B, SS

Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has long been a multifaceted player.  Now, it appears the two-time Silver Slugger and All-Star pitcher could, in a pinch, take his talents to the hot corner if injuries demand it.  We say just the hot corner because, come on, no way a guy his size is playing shortstop.  And, further, there's no way a team would let such a commodity as Zambrano - who is already a red flag as injuries are concerned - take on the added injury risk of switching to short.  But the possibility is very exciting to us, and we can't imagine a much better candidate than Zambrano.  Though we admittedly love the way he plays the game with his heart on his sleeve, and so we just want to have him on the field as much as possible.  We've seen him break his bat over his knee when he struck out (video here), so we're naturally curious as to what he might do in the field should he miss a ball.  Rip the stitches out of his glove, maybe?

Anyway, there are, of course, several roadblocks on the way to Zambrano realizing our dream.  Koyie Hill, the weak-hitting backup backstop played third base in college, so he'd probably be the first option there should Aramis Ramirez miss more time than expected with his calf strain, but...well, he's boring.  And his career OPS is less than Zambrano's (.572 to Z's .622) - plus, as Zambrano's 124 OPS+ last year showed, his ceiling as a hitter is higher than Hill's.  Sure, Hill may grab a few more grounders, but we can't imagine he'll be the second coming of Brooks Robinson. We say, forgo what defensive difference may exist - let the Big Z play! 

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