07/30/12 7:45 PM ET
LeBlanc replaces Zambrano in rotation
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
Carlos Zambrano, who is 1-6 with a 7.62 ERA in his last nine starts, has moved to the bullpen. Taking his place in the rotation is lefty Wade LeBlanc, who will get the start on Wednesday night against the Braves.
LeBlanc has been impressive in long relief. In 11 games he is 1-1 with a 1.15 ERA, striking out 10 in 15 2/3 innings.
The veteran Zambrano has struggled with control and consistency. His most recent start was a prime example, as he threw five shutout innings to open the game against the Padres. But in the sixth inning, he didn't record an out, and he was charged with five runs (four earned).
San Diego won, 7-2, and manager Ozzie Guillen was baffled at how things turned sour so quickly.
In 20 starts this season, Zambrano is 5-9 with a 4.54 ERA. Walks have hurt him, as he racked up 67 in 115 innings.
Zambrano was upset by the news but accepted it.
"He was disappointed. He was embarrassed," Guillen said. "He feels bad because we brought him here and he's not doing [it] the way he thinks he can do it. When we make moves, [it's] not because we want to, it's because we have to."
Zambrano, who was acquired from the Cubs during the offseason in a trade for Chris Volstad, is a free agent after the season. There is still a chance that he could start Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader in Washington, but that will depend on how he is used during the four-game series at Atlanta.
Josh Johnson is expected to start Game 1 of the twin bill.
"Carlos took it the right way, and I expect that," Guillen said. "We're not going to take you out of the rotation because you are pitching well. He was fine. And I told him I will give him the opportunity to pitch."
Marlins remain a factor as Trade Deadline nears
ATLANTA -- On the eve of the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Marlins remain the center of attention. Could another move or two take place before 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday?
"When you're in our situation, expect people to be traded," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "When you're in a better situation, you expect to add people. Right now there is so much stuff about trading.
"It's not like it was in the past. Now it's a situation about [the] Draft, [consulting] with MLB, the medical thing. Right now I don't hear anything from [management]. If they make a trade, I won't be surprised at all. I think they're doing the right thing here. I think they're doing the right thing for the club. They are thinking with their brains, not with their heart."
Several players could be on the bubble.
Josh Johnson is the most publicized one. Carlos Lee, a free agent after the season, is another. And now that Carlos Zambrano is being moved to the bullpen, perhaps the veteran could be a chip for a team looking for pitching depth. Heath Bell, who lost his job as closer, is another possibility.
The Marlins have already been active, having made three major trades this month.
On July 4 they acquired Lee from the Astros. Then, on July 23, after the club fell farther behind in the standings, Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante were dealt to the Tigers for prospects, including pitcher Jacob Turner. Two days later, Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate were sent to the Dodgers in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi and prospect Scott McGough.
"We made a few trades, and people went, 'Wow,'" Guillen said. "Maybe those trades we made will help in the next couple of years. Like I said yesterday, we're not trading for kids in Single A, Rookie League. We're trading for kids who can help us very soon. That's a good start. I think what they're doing right now is the right thing. They're doing a pretty good job of trying to put the best team together for a few years to come."