In case you haven’t heard the news, brace yourself, Cubs fans. Carlos Zambrano is a starter again. He is scheduled to start on Monday.

“Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you lose it,” Zambrano said of starting again. “I don’t want to lose this opportunity. I just want to take advantage [of it] be prepared and be ready for the last two months.”

Listen Carlos, we’d love for you to pitch well so we can ship you out of town after the season.

Now, if this news is not quite what you were hoping for, keep in mind that there isn’t much of anything to hope for in this lost season.

No, I take that back—there are some positives to be taken from this otherwise miserable Cubs season.

First, the play of Marlon Byrd has really been exceptional, especially given his relatively low price tag. Byrd has been above average in all aspects: hitting, fielding, and in terms of looking like someone who actually has a pulse out there.

Another good thing has been the development of Starlin Castro. While still awfully young, he looks like a future star…lin…OK enough of the bad puns.

But seriously, he looks to be someone who will hit for averages above .300 while playing above average defense. If he develops some power, which I think he will, the skies the limit with this kid.

Meanwhile Tyler Colvin is… still some what of a question mark, though his power will certainly play. He has slugged 17 homers in just 256 ABs, which is quite impressive, but we’d like to see him have a better eye at the plate, and he sometimes gets bad jumps and runs bad routes in the outfield.

If he hits 30 homers a season, you’ll live with a .250 average, and a .300 OBP. There is no question that the kid has been a bright spot.

But the thing that impresses me the most is the comeback of Geo Soto. Left for baseball-dead following his miserable 2009 campaign, he is once again playing like the rookie-of-the-year from two years ago.

He is hitting for power again, and his plate discipline is out of this world as he hovers around the .400 OBP mark. He is even throwing better.

Hey, even Alfonso Soriano is much improved over 2009.

Carlos Marmol can’t be hit. With better control he would be the best reliever in baseball, and Thomas Diamond may be a diamond in the rough.

Alright, I said I wouldn’t go there but a tiger can’t change its stripes that easily.

Still, the news from Paul Sullivan that the Cubs may be calling up some of their organizational “fillers”—you know, guys who are not prospects but serve as roster depth —like Micah Hoffpauir, Brad Snyder and Bryan LaHair—is puzzling.

Those three guys have no future with the Cubs. They are too old to be prospects, as The Hoff will be 31, and the other two 28 years old.  

Now, the other kids mentioned in Sullivan’s piece—Darwin Barney and Wellington Castillo —makes sense since they could compete for bench roles in 2011.

At least they would give the Cubs some roster depth in case guys like Mike Fontenot, and Xavier Nady who are claimed off waivers.

See how this goes? I turned an otherwise mundane, ho hum, Zambrano-back-to-the- rotation story into something at least somewhat positive. 

Oh, by the way, did I mention the 15-3 win over the Brewers today?





Read more MLB news on