Zambrano accepts role in relief

ATLANTA — Clearly, Carlos Zambrano’s preference is to be in the rotation.

Right now, the Marlins have other plans. Zambrano is in the bullpen, as Wade LeBlanc was moved into the starting five.

Zambrano on Monday threw out of the bullpen for the first time since 2010, when he was with the Cubs. On Wednesday, LeBlanc gets his first start of the season in the third of four games against the Braves at Turner Field.

The 31-year-old Zambrano noted that he isn’t ideally suited to be a reliever, but he accepts his role. In 340 career games, he has made 302 starts.

“It’s not my role, but I have to do it,” said Zambrano, who isn’t looking to create waves with the decision. “There is no other choice. If they put me in the bullpen, they put me in the bullpen. I have to keep doing my job, and keep trying to come back and being in the rotation again.

“The Cubs tried to do that to me, put me in the bullpen. It didn’t work. My arm is not built to be in the bullpen, but I have to do it. I’m at a stage in my career where I’ve been my whole life as a starter. But I have to do it. I will do it until somebody remembers me [to start].”

The Marlins will be looking for bullpen help now that they’ve traded Edward Mujica to the Cardinals.

For now, Zambrano is an option.

Joe Frisaro

 

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