|Current Team:||Boca Juniors|
|Birth Day:||June 1, 1981|
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He made his MLB debut with the Cubs in 2001.
Carlos Zambrano plays for the team Boca Juniors
Zambrano was called up to the Cubs and pitched in his first game on August 20, 2001, starting against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field in the second game of a double header. Zambrano started the game well, retiring nine of the first ten batters faced. He ran into difficulties in the fourth inning, and was removed before getting any outs in the fifth. He was charged with seven earned runs, walked four batters, and threw just 74 pitches.
Zambrano started the 2002 season at the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, but was quickly called up to the big leagues where he was dispatched to the bullpen and pitched in sixteen games during the first three months of the season. On July 1, 2002, Zambrano started against the Florida Marlins, taking a struggling Jason Bere's spot in the rotation. Zambrano logged sixteen starts for the Cubs, recording four wins and eight losses. At times he showed immense potential, including eight innings of shutout ball against the Milwaukee Brewers on September 4. Zambrano did struggle with control, logging 63 walks in just over a hundred innings of work. Overall, he finished the season with a 4-8 record and a 3.66 ERA in 32 games (16 starts). The Cubs posted a disappointing 67–95 record for the season, finishing in fifth place.
Zambrano maintained his position in the Cubs starting rotation in 2003 and started 32 games with a 3.11 ERA and 13 wins in the fourth spot in the rotation, behind Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, and Matt Clement. The Cubs won the National League Central division, and were one win away from going to the World Series before being defeated by the Florida Marlins. The following year, Zambrano improved his statistics by lowering his ERA to 2.75 and increasing his strikeout total to 188. His record was the best on the Cubs staff that year, compiling a 16–8 record.
On August 22, 2003, Zambrano started against Curt Schilling and the Arizona Diamondbacks. While Schilling pitched a strong game and recorded 14 strikeouts, it was Zambrano that received the attention as he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Zambrano got the first two batters out before Shea Hillenbrand broke up the no-hitter with an infield single down the third-base line. The play was very close at first, with TV replays indicating that the call may have been blown by first base umpire Bill Miller. Zambrano retired the next three batters (which would have been the final three outs) before giving up two more hits in the game. The previous no-hitter for the Cubs was thrown in 1972 by Milt Pappas.
In 2004, Zambrano led his team in ERA (2.75, fourth in the league), won 16 games (tied with teammate Greg Maddux), collected 188 strikeouts, and led the league in hit batsmen (20). He was also selected as an All-Star for the first time in his career.
Continuing to build on the rivalry with the Cardinals, Zambrano turned in good performances once again in 2005. The first was on April 20, facing Jeff Suppan in St. Louis. Zambrano gained the victory pitching within one out of a complete game and had his first career triple. He returned to St. Louis again on July 22 to face ace Chris Carpenter. Zambrano turned in another excellent performance, striking out 12 and giving up only three hits over nine complete innings. St. Louis picked up the victory in extra innings on a David Eckstein squeeze play. The Cardinals made the trip to Chicago on August 12, starting Jason Marquis against Zambrano. Once again Zambrano gained the victory, this time pitching six shutout innings before leaving with tightness in his back A final start against the rivals was completed on September 18 as a rematch with Carpenter, with similar results as Zambrano pitched a complete game, giving up two earned runs and gaining the victory, his third of the season against the Cardinals. The final results for the four games: three victories, no defeats, four earned runs, and averaging over eight innings a start.
Based on his tenure with the MLB, Zambrano was eligible for free agency at the end of the 2007 season. Originally, Zambrano indicated that he needed to have a new contract signed before the start of the season, but it appeared that a deal was almost in place, so his agent extended the deadline to go into the season. The contract was close to being done, but then the sale of the team was announced, and all talks were put on hold. Zambrano ultimately signed a five-year, US$91.5 million contract on August 17, 2007.
On June 1, 2007, Michael Barrett and Cubs pitcher Zambrano got into an altercation in the Cubs dugout. The dispute stemmed from a passed ball and errant throw (on the same play) by Barrett in the previous half inning that allowed a run to score and contributed to the unraveling of Zambrano who ended up allowing six earned runs on thirteen hits in five innings. Shortly after the controversy, he went on to win his next two starts. Zambrano came close to pitching a no hitter on June 16. However, he fell short of his goal in the eighth inning, when an infield single broke up the no-hitter. Zambrano would later lose the game 1–0 on a solo home run by the Padres' Russell Branyan.
He finished July with 5–1 record, which was the best in the league. He became the first pitcher to win fourteen games in 2007, and won the "National League Pitcher of the Month" in July. After winning the award, Zambrano began to struggle throughout August. He started the month by earning a no decision on August 3, after leaving the game early due to dehydration. He recorded his one thousandth strike-out during his subsequent start, but proceeded to lose the game. Zambrano went winless in August, despite signing a rich multi-year contract with the Cubs. He started September by failing to win a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Zambrano, who only lasted four innings, was booed by Wrigley Field's audience as he left the field. In a post game interview, he retaliated at fans by stating, "I thought these were the greatest fans in baseball, but they showed me today that they only care about themselves. That's not fair, when you are struggling, you want to feel like you have their support. I don't accept their reaction". He apologized for making the remarks the following day.
On May 27, 2009, Zambrano was ejected in the seventh inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after an argument with umpire Mark Carlson on a call of safe at home plate. With the Cubs up, 2–1, and Nyjer Morgan representing the tying run at third base, Zambrano's pitch got away from Cubs catcher Geovany Soto. While Soto chased after the ball, Zambrano raced Morgan to the plate and tried to apply the tag, but Carlson called Morgan safe, contending that Morgan's left hand got past Zambrano. After a brief argument, Zambrano appeared to bump Carlson and was ejected. Zambrano then threw a ball into left field, hurled his glove into the dugout and repeatedly struck a recently installed Gatorade dispenser in the dugout with a baseball bat, while Cubs manager Lou Piniella tried to calm him down. Zambrano was suspended six games without pay and fined $3,000 by Major League Baseball. Zambrano's troubles continued when he missed the team's flight to Atlanta. The issue was resolved internally, within the Cubs organization. During his next start, Zambrano struck-out seven batters, and hit the game-winning home run en route to his 100th career win. After the game, reporters began to inquire if Zambrano could possibly win 300 games during his career. He replied that he tentatively plans to retire when his contract with the Cubs expires, claiming, "I want to help this team and do everything possible to win with this team. After five years, or four years, or whatever it is, that's it. I just don't want to play. I want to stay at home and see my daughters grow up and be with my family more."
Zambrano's opening day start was his sixth consecutive one, a Cubs record. However, he gave up eight runs in one and one third innings, including a 3-run home run to Jason Heyward in his first career at-bat. He was charged with the loss as the Cubs lost the game, 16–5. Zambrano bounced back in his next start against the Cincinnati Reds, however. Zambrano pitched 7 strong innings, giving up three earned runs, six hits, and striking out nine batters en route to his first victory of the season. On April 21, 2010, The Cubs moved Zambrano to the bullpen. On May 30, 2010, the Cubs decided to move Zambrano back to the rotation. He made his first start on June 4 against the Astros. In his first four starts after returning to the rotation, Zambrano was 2–2 with a 3.09 ERA.
On June 25, 2010, against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Zambrano allowed up four runs in the first inning. He then proceeded to mount a furious tirade in the Cubs dugout. Cameras showed Zambrano appearing to yell at Derrek Lee, whom the pitcher apparently blamed for failing to field a sharply-hit ball off the bat of Juan Pierre, resulting in a lead-off double. The Cubs coaching staff had to separate the two players and manager Lou Piniella opted not to send Zambrano back to the mound in the second inning. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry announced that Zambrano would be suspended indefinitely for his behavior in the game. The next day, Lou Piniella announced that when Zambrano returned, he would be moved back to the bullpen. It was later confirmed that Zambrano would undergo anger management before returning with the team. The Cubs then returned Zambrano to the rotation for the second time where he did not give up more than two runs in any start since his return from the bullpen on August 9. Over that time, he allowed only 11 total runs (9 earned) in 50 innings, and pulled his ERA down to 3.75. On August 30, 2010 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Zambrano improved to 3–0 since his return to the pitching rotation, striking out seven. Additionally, he recorded his 21st career home run with a two run shot, increasing his club record for home runs by a pitcher. On September 15 at Busch Stadium, he once again faced Cardinal's ace Chris Carpenter and out-dueled him throwing 104 pitches over six innings giving up just 2 runs (1 earned). He has now won 5 consecutive starts and 6 decisions overall since returning to the rotation. Zambrano pitched for the first time with his mother present against the San Diego Padres at San Diego on Monday, September 27, 2010. He gave up no runs over 7 innings and won the game. His record now sits at 10–6 with a 3.36 ERA. Zambrano is now 7–0 in 9 starts with an ERA of 1.07 (seven earned runs in 59 innings) since his return to the rotation on Aug. 14. Zambrano finished the season 11–6 with an ERA of 3.33. He was 11–5 with an ERA of 3.19 in 20 starts and pitched 113 innings in those starts. He was 0–1 with a 4.32 ERA in 16 bullpen appearances spanning 16 and two-thirds innings. For the entire season Zambrano gave up just 7 home runs.
The combative Zambrano was known for being highly emotive on the mound, often antagonizing opponents and teammates alike. He behaved especially poorly when he did not pitch well, often blaming others. He incurred lengthy team suspensions in June 2010 and August 2011 after unleashing tirades in the wake of bad pitching performances. In another incident, he was suspended six games and fined $3,000 by Major League Baseball for arguing with umpire Mark Carlson and firing a ball into the outfield. In other instances, he quarreled—and physically fought—with teammates for what Zambrano considered their poor effort or performance.
Zambrano lost the role as the Chicago Cubs opening day starter to Ryan Dempster, but did record a quality start in his first outing as the Cubs number 2 starter going 6-plus innings and giving up three runs. He also experienced some cramps in this game, which led to a premature exit even though he had thrown 99 pitches. In his 4th start of the year, Zambrano dueled the San Diego Padres Tim Stauffer and pitched 8 scoreless innings at Wrigley Field. He displayed better than average control, giving up just one walk and striking out 10 with 3 hits. He received a no-decision for his efforts as the Cubs were unable to score while he was on the mound. The Cubs eventually won the game in the 10th inning on Tyler Colvin's game-winning single. Zambrano's 10-game overall win streak came to an end on Sunday, April 24 after a rough first inning against the Dodgers lead to 5 runs. Zambrano finished the game, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits in just 5 innings—his shortest outing of the season. Zambrano faced the Dodgers again on May 4, this time at Dodger Stadium. He pitched well; going 8 innings, allowing one run on 5 hits, and receiving the win. On the heels of a road win against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Zambrano's road winning streak stood at 10. Another win against the Los Angeles Dodgers extended the streak to 11, but Zambrano was tagged for a loss against the Cincinnati Reds on May 16. On August 6, 2011, again against the Reds, Zambrano hit his 23rd career home run, making him tied for ninth on the list of MLB's all-time leading home run-hitting pitchers.
On August 12, 2011, against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, Zambrano allowed five home runs. After the fifth home run he allowed, he threw two inside pitches at Chipper Jones. Zambrano was subsequently ejected from the game by home plate umpire Tim Timmons. This would turn out to be Zambrano's final appearance with the Cubs. Following his ejection, Zambrano cleaned out his locker from the visiting team's clubhouse, and told the team's personnel that he was retiring. The next day, on August 13, the Cubs suspended Zambrano for 30 days, preventing him from performing or attending any activity with the club, as well as having his pay suspended for a period of 30 days. Zambrano later apologized to the Cubs and their fans, saying he wanted to "remain a Cub for life" and that his comments about retiring were said out of frustration. He appealed for a shorter suspension through the MLBPA. On September 2, the club announced that Zambrano would not participate for the remainder of the 2011 season. Cub teammates did not express sympathy for his plight, with veteran pitcher Ryan Dempster remarking, "He's made his bed. Let him sleep in it. It's not like it's something new." As Zambrano spent the rest of the 2011 season on the restricted list, he finished the year 9–7 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 starts.
On January 5, 2012, the Cubs traded Zambrano to the Miami Marlins in return for pitcher Chris Volstad.
On May 15, 2013, Zambrano signed a one-year minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Despite a highly successful AAA stint, he was released on July 25 after going 4–2, with a 3.51 ERA.
On September 5, 2014, he officially announced his retirement from baseball.
In July 2018, Zambrano came out of retirement to pitch for the Leones de Yucatán of the Mexican League. He made 7 starts, going 2-1 with a 5.18 ERA, before he was released on August 14, 2018.
On April 16, 2019, Zambrano signed with the Chicago Dogs of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Zambrano again announced his retirement on January 17, 2020.
Currently, Carlos Zambrano is 41 years, 8 months and 6 days old. Carlos Zambrano will celebrate 42nd birthday on a Thursday 1st of June 2023.
Find out about Carlos Zambrano birthday activities in timeline view here.