Zambrano to receive treatment
CHICAGO -- After consulting with Major League Baseball, the players union and the agent for pitcher Carlos Zambrano, the Chicago Cubs announced on Monday a collective agreement between all parties that will allow Zambrano to be removed from the suspended list and placed on the restricted list on Tuesday.
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The Cubs don't anticipate the hot-tempered pitcher being activated until after the All-Star break at the earliest.
Zambrano has been suspended without pay by the team since Friday, when he threw a tirade in the dugout that led to a verbal confrontation with teammate Derrek Lee.
Beginning Tuesday, Zambrano will be paid and has agreed to go through a treatment program that will have him away from the team until at least July 15 -- when the Cubs host the Phillies after the All-Star break.
Asked specifically what type of doctor Zambrano would see, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry declined to elaborate.
"We've obviously had a lot of transgressions in the past with Carlos, so I think we all agreed that it's probably time that he went and got help, and then maybe address the apologies later," Hendry said. "I think it's not time for just words a few days after the fact, but some actions. So hopefully he goes and gets the help he needs and can rectify some of his actions with his teammates and be able to move forward after the [All-Star] break."
The groups collectively agreed to find independent doctors to evaluate Zambrano and provide treatment following the evaluation. During this evaluation period, and during any type of therapy, Zambrano will not have any contact with his Cubs teammates.
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"He will be evaluated and then directed on areas to address some of his deficiencies, and he will be required by the agreement from MLB and the players association to follow the directions of the doctors to a tee," Hendry said.
Hendry said Zambrano and his agent have not asked for the right-hander to be traded or released. Zambrano is in the middle of a $91.5 million, five-year contract extension he signed in August 2007.
Zambrano had contact with Hendry on Monday and was remorseful about his dugout tirade at U.S. Cellular Field. Zambrano surrendered four runs to the Chicago White Sox in the top of the first, then began screaming in the dugout, knocking over a Gatorade cooler before getting in the face of Lee. Manager Lou Piniella then sent Zambrano home, and Hendry suspended him indefinitely.
"I spoke to him this afternoon, Hendry said. "We had a nice conversation and he certainly understands the situation and he and his representative obviously signed off on it."
Piniella has stated that Zambrano will go into the bullpen when he returns to the 25-man roster. Once Zambrano is moved to the restricted list, Jeff Stevens will be called up to fill his roster spot.
"I'm glad it's over," Piniella said Monday. "I'm glad Carlos is going to get some professional help. At the same time, I guess we'll see him sometime over the All-Star break."
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Cubs second baseman Ryan Theriot added: "It's a rough thing for both sides. Hopefully when he comes back it will be much better."
The 29-year-old Zambrano, a three-time All-Star, was a starter nearly his entire major league career before he struggled early this season and the Cubs put him in the bullpen. He later returned to the rotation and is 3-6 with a 5.66 ERA in 22 games this season, including nine starts.
"The doctors will evaluate him in their level of expertise. I am certainly not anywhere close in that level of expertise," Hendry said. "He will be evaluated, then directed on areas to address some of his deficiencies and he will be required by MLB and the Players' Association to follow the directions of the doctor."
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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