Right-hander Carlos Zambrano hung up his cleats back in 2014, but he returned to professional baseball last season with the Chicago Dogs of the independent American Association. That comeback didn’t lead to a new opportunity in the majors, though, and now Zambrano says he’s done for good, per Carrie Muskat.
The fiery Zambrano, now 38, threw 61 innings with the Dogs last season. He posted a bloated 5.16 ERA over that span, though he did manage 7.5 strikeouts against 2.5 walks per nine. None of that was enough to put Zambrano back on the big league radar, however.
At his best, the man known as Big Z was one of the majors’ most effective starters. The longtime Cub, a three-time All-Star and someone who once pitched a no-hitter, was particularly good from 2003-10. He racked up 1,548 innings during that stretch, ranked 10th among starters in fWAR (28.7) and recorded a 3.42 ERA/3.89 FIP.
Also a former Marlin, with whom he concluded his MLB playing days in 2012, Zambrano put up a 3.66 ERA/4.01 FIP with 7.52 K/9, 4.13 BB/9 and a 48.4 percent groundball rate in almost 2,000 innings at the sport’s highest level.
Not to be forgotten, Zambrano’s also one of the most threatening hitters in the history of his position. Pitchers are often automatic outs, but not Zambrano, who totaled 24 home runs and batted .238/.248/.388 across 748 plate appearances.