CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s been two months since Carlos Zambrano returned to baseball, playing in Rosemont. The spicy ex-Cubs star has cut the mustard in the minors with the Chicago Dogs.
Carlos Zambrano, who’s now 38 years old, and whose last pitch in the majors came seven years ago, says he wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when he returned to the mound for the Chicago Dogs, but it’s actually gone pretty well. He’s got a 3.50 ERA in 17 relief appearances.
“It is better. This year I have been throwing the ball well, only three walks in 24 innings. I’m in control. I’m definitely having fun. This is a second chance God has given to me, and I’m going to enjoy it,” says Zambrano.
He still has a lot of that Big Z arm. He’s been pumping it in there throwing 90-plus mph, but what seems to be gone is most of the big temper that he became so known for. Zambrano credits finding God for helping with that.
“That’s the difference between the previous Carlos before and my life now. That’s the difference. I know how to say I’m sorry and think before I react, that’s the difference,” adds Zambrano.
Impact Field in Rosemont, where Zambrano pitches, is only about 10 miles east of his old home at Wrigley Field. But, actually getting to the majors can be a long journey from Independent League Ball. So, does Zambrano really think he can pitch in the big leagues again?
“Yeah, I believe. I believe I’m still a major league pitcher. I believe I can do it. I believe, like the song, I believe I can fly,” Zambrano says with a smile.
Zambrano has donated his modest salary with the Chicago Dogs. It’s a far cry from the $18 million he last made with the Cubs.