The Philadelphia Phillies have signed free agent right-hander Carlos Zambrano to a minor league deal, Ken Rosenthal reports. As it was reported yesterday, Zambrano walked away from an agreement with the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League in an effort to concentrate on landing a deal with a Major League team. A sound decision from Big Z’s camp, if he can crack the roster.
Zambrano bounced between the starting rotation and bullpen with the Miami Marlins last season, to mostly mediocre results. While Zambrano’s velocity has remained roughly the same over the last few seasons, his fastball usage has declined every year since 2007. The big righty has gradually increased the number of split-finger fastballs he’s thrown, relying on it 21.1% of the time in 2012. The longball has never really been a big problem for Zambrano, but he did raise his groundball rate to 49% last season, the highest total he’s registered since 2005.
The Phillies could use some help in their rotation with Roy Halladay on the shelf for the foreseeable future. Whether or not Zambrano will help fill that void depends on how effective he can prove himself to be in the minors.