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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Carlos Zambrano

Tonight, the Mets face RHP Carlos Zambrano. The 10 year veteran is getting paid to be an ace, and that frustrates numerous Cubs fans because he isn't an ace, but he is still an above average pitcher (one that I would gladly welcome on the Mets).

He throws from a low 3/4s arm slot, features a 91-94 mph sinking fastball, a late-biting slider, a decent change-up and an improving split-finger. He uses his split as his main strike out pitch, which increased his walks (4.15 W/9 last year), but also increased his strikeouts (8 K/9). He's a fly-ball pitcher, but had an unexplained decrease in Home Runs last year, which contributed to a better than expected ERA (3.77). He probably is a better hitter than two or three regulars on the Mets, with a .632 career OPS and 20 home runs.

So the positives seem great, but here are the negatives: He's making 18 million dollars (signed through 2013) and people repeatedly question his work ethic and mental make-up. He missed time last year with back spasms that were blamed on poor conditioning. Also loses focus often in games and his mechanics are tough to repeat.

When he's on, he can completely dominate a game.

For the scouting report on Mets starter, Mike Pelfrey, click here: Mike Pelfrey

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