It seems Carlos Zambrano passed his first test in his quest to earn himself a start with the Phillies big-league club. Zambrano pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings for the Clearwater Threshers last night down in Florida and following his performance he declared himself ready to help the Phillies win.
The Daily News' David Murphy was down in Florida and spoke with Zambrano who says he is ready but realizes he's at the will of the team.
"They are in control," Zambrano said. "My agent has been in touch with Mr. Ruben [Amaro] and we'll see what happens. I'm ready. I'm ready to help this team.''
As Murphy notes, the decision on whether or not Zambrano gets a shot with the Phillies could depend on Ruben Amaro Jr.'s feelings on Tyler Cloyd as well as the rehab progress of John Lannan. Cloyd got hit around pretty hard in his most recent outing in Boston on Monday while Lannan is just getting back to throwing.
Zambrano would likely need at least one more minor league start and the organization most likely wants to see him repeat his solid outing last night and stretch it even longer.
"I was at my house doing nothing and now I have a job with one of the best teams in baseball," Zambrano said, "a team with good fans, a team that is competing every year. I like that. I like the chemistry. I like the system. I thank God that I'm here."
Here in the Phillies organization, yes, but not in Philadelphia just yet. June 6th in Milwaukee looks like an open opportunity though. I think most Phillies fans would be okay with Big Z over little Tyler.
More from Murph: Zambrano pronounces himself 'ready'