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Surprising No One, Carlos Zambrano to Return to Cubs Rotation

Lou Piniella confirmed today that Carlos Zambrano’s move to “long reliever” was really a prelude to bringing Big Z back to the rotation.

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Now that the worst kept secret in the baseball world has been revealed, inquiring minds want to know: which current starter is going to be shifted to the pen to make room for Zambrano?

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Many have slated Tom Gorzelanny as the likley casualty of Big Z’s return, but I think Carlos Silva is the more likely choice. Here’s three reasons why:

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1. The Cubs pen has three lefties currently (Sean Marshall, John Grabow, James Russell)

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2. Silva is regressing faster than Gorzelanny.

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Silva’s ERA in April was a sparkling 1.73. In May, he’s sporting a 6.06. Gorzelanny has also had a poor May, but not quite as bad — he’s gone from a 2.45 ERA in April to a 5.0 ERA in May.

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3. Silva, not Gorzelanny, is pitching over his head.

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Silva’s current BABIP of .284 is considerably below both his 3 year (.323) and career (.313) averages. Gorzelanny’s current BABIP of .353 is considerably higher than his 3 year (.310) or career (.304) averages. This suggests that Silva is the pitcher who may yet see more bad outings on the horizon.