Voodoo Sabermetrics: Carlos Zambrano

Who do the Voodoo
Welcome to our seventh edition of Voodoo Sabermetrics. This week we break down one of the biggest badasses in baseball, Carlos Zambrano.

Sooze, Babes Love Baseball
- The jollity of Carlos Zambrano cannot be measured in chuckles or belly laughs. It can only be determined by how hard he can punch someone in the melon. But as heartbroken as this makes Cubbies fans, he won't be beating anyone's ass or throwing any sinkers in the near future. At this juncture, Zambrano gets an MRI on the ever-tipping Scale of Jolliness.

Theme Song - L.L. Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out. Track #8 on the 1990 comeback album of the same name.

Extra P., Bus Leagues Baseball
Name Quality (nicknames included)
- rawr. I like the rhythm of this cat's name. It ups the ante with each name. In addition, it seems to be quite the athlete's name in South America, as our CAZ is an elite pitcher from the baseball hotbed of Venezuela, and there is also a soccer-playing Carlos Augusto Zambrano from the coca-based stimulant hotbed of Peru. Oh, and he plays professional soccer, too, having started for his national team. I guess, in a way, that Carlos Zambrano must be roughly equivalent to the English name Dee Brown.

The nickname is boring. Big. Z. Yeah. He's corpulent and his surname begins with the last letter of the alphabet. Nice work, Einstein.

Name: 7 out of 10 anti-American speeches by Hugo Chavez. Nickname: 1 out of 10 maracas in Caracas.

Monday Morning Punter, Kissing Suzy Kolber
- Well... he's a switch-hitting pitcher. Does that also mean he's a catcher?

Camp Tiger Claw, Walkoff Walk
fist of furyIntensity of Self vs. Intensity of Devotees; Corrolaries and Reflexiveness
- Carlos Zambrano is very intense. Carlos Zambrano is a wolverine with a bomb in his stomach. Carlos Zambrano is homeless vet with a 98 MPH fastball. Carlos Zambrano gives off UV rays. Warheads thought about making a Carlos Zambrano flavor but realized the sexual implications and never followed through. At night, Carlos Zambrano . One time he jerked off so hard his dick came off in his hand but he immediately grew another one like an iguana. Carlos Zambrano is very intense.

For a player who's testicles are larger than any of Jupiter's 63 moons, he sure has some crap tribute videos. I give you this one, set to "The Reason" by that band from a couple years ago.

I give Carlos Zambrano the intensity of being trampled by stallions, and his fans the intensity of giving your niece a piggy back ride.

Hardness Scale (Like the Mohs Hardness Scale but with more Tuffy)
- Carlos Zambrano is a highly reactive element of the Cubs' pitching staff. He's an absolute charmer under perfect circumstances. However, he quickly catches fire when exposed to outdoor air at Wrigley Field or beyond, mowing down hitters at nearly eight strikeouts per nine innings for his career.

He's so dangerous that you could store him in kerosene and be safer. Don't get him wet, either, or he'll react violently. (Same if you combine him with Barrettium.) Still, he's a vital component to the life of the Cubs and is utterly irreplaceable as part of this pitching rotation.

Of course, Carlos Zambrano most closely resembles sodium. On the normal Mohs Hardness Scale, sodium is a wimpy 0.5 out of 10. However, this is the Tuffy's Hardness Scale. In that measurement system, Zambrano is an 8.7: Gremlin sodium. He's so hard to subdue that even Phoebe Cates would need four chances and possibly a sequel.

ewwHoroscope (Date of Birth: June 1, 1981) - You may not believe this, but Gemini are masculine extroverts that enjoy the stage and need the credit. They get restless when not in control and act out. (We're not sure how Curt Schilling isn't a Gemini, come to think of it.)

Our crystal ball has clouded due to our Cubs fandom, but we see a masterful future for Zambrano that can only be marred by another gremlin.

- This is a bizarrely fluid quantity. You can be a player that everyone thinks is great, has great stats, and still be over-rated. The poster boy for this is obviously Alex Rodriguez. He's a first ballot Hall of Famer, he's going to have the HR record, he'll probably have five MVPs by the time he retires, and yet he still sucks. And nothing he does will ever make me think otherwise. The guy slapped at Bronson Arroyo; in the last five post-season series, I think I've gotten more hits than he has. Loser, defined.

I hesitate to call Carlos Zambrano the "ARod of Pitchers," because he doesn't have the track record of post-season failures that ARod does (because the Cubs suck), but he's clearly one of the most over-rated pitchers in baseball. On paper, the stats look great: 90 career wins, a career 3.39 ERA and until this last week, a guy who you could count on to make 34 starts every year and give you 220 innings.

But innings at what price? Before we knew about statistics, before stats like K/BB and WHIP became as common place as ERA, Zambrano would have been considered awesome. If this was 1989, we'd be talking about him like Jack Morris. But it's not 1989. And he's not Jack Morris. Let me give you a free piece of advice when evaluating pitchers: when a pitcher gives up 100 walks in back to back seasons, they suck.

Here's another one: when a pitcher's WHIP is creeping into the 1.30's, they suck.

Let me quantify that "suck" statement. Here are the 2007 pitching lines for 2 starters.

Starter A: 202 innings, 4.19 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 2.47 K/BB
Starter B: 216 innings, 3.95 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 1.75 K/BB

Starter A is another Carlos. Carlos Silva. And unless you're Bill Bavasi, you'd never confuse Silva with a good major league pitcher.

Starter B is Zambrano. Seriously. Look at that stat line. Are you kidding me? Zambrano didn't even have a better year than Silva last year, and yet he has this reputation of a stud. This is a guy who gets mentioned in the same breath as Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy, Johan Santana and C.C. Sabathia? Really? He should be getting mentioned in the same breath as Tim Wakefield. Sure, he stays healthy and gives you innings, but do you really want innings like that? I remember Steve Trachsel used to pitch 200 innings a year. So did Kevin Appier. Did we think they were All-Star caliber starters, let alone "aces?"

And now, he's not even going to give you innings. He's hurt. I've been waiting for his shoulder injury for a couple of years. That was as easy to predict as the tides. The guy throws 3500 pitches per year, gets abused by Dusty Baker AND Lou Pinella and won't blow his arm out?

So you can take Carlos Zambrano and give him back to the indians (not the franchise, the displaced people who run casinos.) I'll take [insert any pitcher here] over him any day.

Check back soon for another edition of Voodoo Sabermetrics!


Jake's mom said...

Punter, that was a two-liner you dork.

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