How important is Carlos Zambrano to this Cubs team this year? We're about to find out.
If his August problems and ``dead arm'' or ``tired arm'' or ``not-sore arm'' continue into his first start of September Tuesday after being scratched from his start Sunday, it's going to be hard for the team to hide behind euphemisms when explaining what's wrong with the crowned ace.
And it may be an even more challenging juggling act that may follow should they be forced to compensate for a restricted and/or aching Zambrano.
Having blown off reporters Sunday when he was scratchedfrom the start, Zambrano blew off media again before today's game against Houston.
He insisted Saturday the shoulder that put him on the DL the last two weeks of June wasn't bothering him, and that his problems wasn't soreness or pain at all in the arm. But Piniella referred to ``triceps fatigue'' over the weekend. Whatever that means (a problem/inflammation in a muscle? how does fatigue in a pitcher's arm get isolated so specifically if it's nothing more than a tired arm? I don't know, and I've never heard something described quite like that before).
One thing seems certain: We should know a lot more Tuesday about the state of Zambrano's arm and health -- and, maybe,. of the team's prospects not only of getting to October but competing once it gets there.