Zambrano to be placed on restricted list
Cubs righty will be evaluated for anger issues by doctors
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano will be placed on the restricted list, effective Tuesday, and will undergo evaluation for anger issues by doctors picked by Major League Baseball and the Players Association.
Zambrano has been suspended without pay since a dugout tantrum after the first inning of Friday's Cubs game against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. The pitcher came off the field after the White Sox had taken a 4-0 lead and accused his teammates of not making plays behind him. The right-hander served up a three-run homer to Carlos Quentin that inning.
On Wednesday, Zambrano will be evaluated in New York and the appropriate treatment will then be determined. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry didn't specify what types of doctors would be involved in the initial evaluation.
"If the program is acted upon properly and in accordance with what the doctors signify he needs to work on and improve on, Carlos would not be reinstated until sometime after the All-Star break," Hendry said Monday.
"It's an unfortunate situation," Hendry said. "His actions certainly were inappropriate. As I said Friday, those actions toward his teammates and staff will not be tolerated."
The Cubs have played with a 24-man roster since Zambrano was suspended, but with him being switched to the restricted list, they will be able to add a player. Pitcher Jeff Stevens, sent down on Saturday because the Cubs needed a fresh arm in the bullpen following Zambrano's early departure, will join the team Tuesday.
Hendry, Major League Baseball, the Players Association and Zambrano's representative, Barry Praver, all discussed the course of action to take. Hendry said there were no "snags" in their talks.
"We want to give [Zambrano] the opportunity to address his problems and improve and hopefully get back to a situation where he can work things out with his teammates and the staff and address the deficiencies he's had," Hendry said.
Zambrano has not met with his teammates and will not do so until after he completes his treatment, Hendry said. The general manager, who has known Zambrano for 15 years, spoke with the pitcher on Monday.
"He certainly understands the situation and he and his representative signed off on it," Hendry said.
Was Zambrano apologetic?
"We've obviously had a lot of transgressions in the past with Carlos," Hendry said. "I think we all agree it's time he got help and then address the apologies later. I think it's not time for words a few days after the fact, but some actions. Hopefully, he goes and gets the help he needs and can rectify some of his actions with his teammates and move forward after the break."
Zambrano was suspended without pay for three days following Friday's tirade. He will be paid while he is on the restrictive list. He is in the middle of a five-year, $91.5 million contract signed prior to the 2008 season.
"We all live in a world where we all make mistakes," Hendry said. "He's probably made a few more in the last couple years than we would like. I'm sure he feels remorseful about it."
Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has tried to contact Zambrano to get an explanation but had no luck.
"I think he needs to apologize," Soriano said Monday. "What he said was not good for the team and not good for anybody, because he did it in front of the camera and in front of a lot of people. I think we need a little explaining about what he did on Friday.
"I want to know how he feels, why he did it. Everybody knows Zambrano, but I know he has a very good heart and he likes to play hard for the team."
Soriano will try again to reach out to Zambrano.
"I wanted to talk to him -- we're friends," Soriano said. "Whatever happened on Friday, he's still my friend. I want to talk to him, what he was thinking, and have him explain it."
In Spring Training, Zambrano said he was a changed man, primarily because of his family. He has had a few run-ins, including a fight with teammate Michael Barrett in the dugout in June 2007.
"The goal for both sides was the same -- let's get Carlos some help," Hendry said. "Hopefully, we can help him through some of the issues that have popped up a lot more in the last couple years than they did early in his career, and let's see if we can get him back on track. Obviously, he's the key component in all of this.
"My sense is that after a few days, he feels quite remorseful, and I'm hopeful he will be more than willing to do something about it and come back with a different outlook."
Hendry met with Cubs players and staff prior to Monday's game against the Pirates to give them an update before addressing the media.
"I'd like to make it a non-issue until [Zambrano] comes back," Hendry said. "We're going to go about our business the next couple weeks and try to get on a little bit of a run here ourselves, chip away and see if we can get this thing down from 9 1/2 games where none of us think we should be. I'm not worried about how it affects the team. I think they'll respond well."
"We've moved on," Soriano said. "We have to move on and play one day at a time and focus on the other team. We have a lot of things to do, not think about what happened on Friday."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.