Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Late Wednesday night, the Miami Marlins acquired mercurial right-handed pitcher Carlos Zambrano from the Chicago Cubs. It was a move that will either turn out to be genius or the work of a madman.
The Marlins already have a very outspoken manager who see things one way, his, in Ozzie Guillen.
Now, they have added Zambrano to a possibly combustible mix that will also include potential headache, Hanley Ramirez.
Zambrano has a history of having difficulty controlling his temper.
In 2007, he got into a fight with teammate Michael Barrett, first in the dugout and then in the locker room. Barrett ended up with a bruise under his eye and a cut lip.
In 2009, he went on tirade against an umpire, throwing a baseball into the outfield, pretending to eject the umpire and slamming his glove against the dugout fence, a tantrum that led to a suspension.
In 2010, Zambrano was placed on the restricted list for six weeks and sent to anger management after a verbal altercation with then-teammate Derrek Lee.
Finally in 2011, he was ejected from a game, cleaned out his locker and quit on the Cubs. He was placed on the disqualified list and never pitched another inning for the team from August through the end of the season.
Still, the Marlins needed a veteran to close out a rotation that looks great on paper, assuming everyone is healthy. The 2012 Marlins rotation might be the following: Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, and Zambrano.
But, that’s assuming Josh Johnson ever regains the form he had before a shoulder injury last year and Zambrano can keep his emotions under control while playing.
Zambrano for his career is 125-81 with a 3.6 ERA. He’s also one of the best hitting pitchers in recent memory with a career batting average of .241 along with 23 home runs.
Guillen is originally from Venezuela, like Zambrano, which could be a good omen for the Marlins. Guillen reportedly pushed hard to acquire Big Z.