The saga of Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, which has gone from dugout fights with his catcher to an argument with umpire Mark Carlson where he pretended to toss Carlson out of the game to nearly getting into a fight with mild-mannered teammate Derrek Lee to an ejection last August resulting in his walkout on the team, threatening to retire, has taken another bizarre turn.
Friday night, while Zambrano was having his best winter league outing yet for Caribes in the Venezuelan League in his home country, he was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Ezequiel Carrera. He had allowed just two hits, two walks and an unearned run in the five innings.
According to local reporter Raul Lopez, Zambrano is fine and at home in his home town of Puerto Cabello:
Carlos Zambrano is at home in Puerto Cabello,Venezuela resting after being hit by a ball last night in his mouth..6 stitches were taken #Cubs
Earlier in the week, Zambrano met with new Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, who told Big Z he would have to "earn" his way back to the team with no guarantees. But after Friday, Z can at least say he has literally "taken one for the team".