Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Addition by subtraction for Cubs' Big Z

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Carlos Zambrano says he's lost 12-15 pounds on the diet he's been on since December, but the bigger weight he shed to help him this year is getting rid of his cut fastball.

That's the pitch he said he made most of his mistakes with last year, ``because that's the pitch I sometimes didn't control,'' said Zambrano, who talked to media just before the pitchers and catchers took the field this morning for the first official workout of spring training.

He said he'll stick to a split-finger fastball, high straight heat, and a sinker that got him this far in his career.

``I'm excited. I feel like a new guy,'' said Zambrano, who said his 9-win season last year was no fun and trade rumors in the off-season were even worse because of how they affected his family.

Zambrano has full no-trade rights and said he wouldn't have waived those rights, but he also said when his 9-year-old daughter asked about the reports, he told her it might mean they'd have to move.

``And she started crying,'' he said. ``It's hard to see your kid crying.''

* * *

Other sights and sounds this morning:

-- Pitcher Jeff Samardzija got a haircut since yesterday (not that his hair is particularly short even now).

-- New closer Carlos Marmol said he's been working all winter on commanding his fastball and thinks that will make a big difference in cutting down his walks and hit-batter totals. ``I think I'll be ready,'' he said.

-- General manager Jim Hendry stopped by the complex this morning before heading out for tomorrow's scheduled arbitration hearing with Ryan Theriot in St. Petersburg, Fla. It doesn't look promising for avoiding a hearing.

-- Angel Guzman (arthroscopic knee surgery) said he believes he'll be ready to throw off a mound in a week and a half to two weeks.

--Reliever Jeff Gray (groin strain) said he's able to keep up some light throwing and doesn't believe his injury will put him very far behind.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on February 18, 2010 10:14 AM.

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