Ruben Amaro Jr. said Carlos Zambrano wasn’t quite ready to come back to the big leagues. Big Z let his latest start at Lehigh Valley on Tuesday do the talking.
After a fairly disappointing (though not horrendous) start last week, Zambrano rebounded with is best outing since joining the organization on a minor league contract. His seven innings were the deepest he’s gone on to a ball game, and his command was much better, allowing just one free pass compared to the 11 spread over four prior appearances.
Oh, and the opposing team managed just five hits and no runs, which is a pretty good sign, too. Zambrano earned the win.
He’s now 3-0 during with a 0.95 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 28.1 innings pitched. With this latest start, Zambrano clearly eased two of the three most pressing concerns after his previous outings: control, and the ability to go deeper into games. Velocity remains a question mark, however.
Did he ease those concerns enough to finally earn his promotion? With Jonathan Pettibone seeming to have hit a wall recently, it might be reaching a point where the Phillies are forced to make the move.
The rookie right-hander had his worst outing of the season in Colorado over the weekend, getting raked for seven runs (six earned) over three frames. That’s three subpar starts in his last four for those of you keeping score at home.
There is definitely some doubt Zambrano can fill the void, but he got the job done for the IronPigs last night. Next step is the Phillies, a decision the front office must make by July 1 or the three-time All Star can opt out of his deal. On that note, David Murphy for the Daily News speculates we could see Big Z in red pinstripes as early as Sunday.
Phillies could use Thursday's off day to sub in Zambrano for J. Pettibone. Would mean him making debut on Sunday vs. Mets.
— David Murphy (@HighCheese) June 19, 2013