1/17/2006 06:03:00 PM
START THE PARADE, THE ZAMBRANO PROJECT IS IN THE FOLD
In no other profession can you underachieve and get a $900K raise but that is exactly what The Zambrano Project received from the Mets, as he avoided arbitration, and signed a one year deal for $3mil.
If Zambrano didn't have such a live arm, I wouldn't obsess as much as I do about him. Try to forget for a moment that he was dealt for Scott Kazmir, the most frustrating thing about Zambrano is he has as much talent as anyone on the Mets staff, he just has no clue on how to utilize that talent.
Zambrano has an exploding fastball and a slider that has a biting break to it and a curve that he uses as an off speed pitch but what is keeping him form breaking out as a star is his command of these pitches. There are starts where Zambrano looks like he could be the ace of the staff and then there are starts where you scream for Omar to release him. The problem is there are more of the former than the later.
Maybe this is the season that Professor Rick makes his biggest breakthrough and gets Zambrano to harness that fastball and gets it in the strike zone. The fifth starters spot is being given to Zambrano's on a silver platter but there is some stiff compettion coming over the hill in Brian Bannister, Mike Pelfry, Phil Humber and Aaron Heilman.
It's sink or swim time for The Zambrano Project.
Also signing today was Chris Woodward-one year $825K-and that leaves the Mets with zero arbitration cases. That's a fine job by Omar and the Mets front office.
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