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Carlos Alberto Zambrano (born June 1, 1981, in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela), popularly known as "Big Z" or "El Toro," is a right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who has played for the Chicago Cubs since 2001. He is signed with the Cubs through the 2012 season. He is one of the few switch-hitting pitchers in the MLB and has won a Silver Slugger Award twice for his hitting.
Zambrano, an imposing figure at 6' 5" and 255 pounds, was signed by the Cubs as a free agent in 1997 and made his debut in 2001. After being used in both starting and relief duties, he enjoyed his first full season as a starter in 2003, finishing with a 13-11 record, 168 strikeouts and a 3.11 ERA.
Widely regarded as one of the best hitting pitchers in the game, he has a career .240 batting average with 18 home runs, 50 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .394. The 18 home runs is the most ever by a Cubs pitcher in history. He also tied the club record for home runs by a pitcher in a single season after clubbing six round trippers in 2006. Ferguson Jenkins is the other Cub great who compiled six home runs in one season as a pitcher. Due to his impressive stats at the plate he has been called on to pinch hit 19 times in his career.
Zambrano is one of only two National League pitchers to have won at least 13 games in each year from 2003–07, the other being former teammate Greg Maddux. In 2006, he became the first player from Venezuela to lead the National League in wins.
Original Wikipedia article: Carlos Zambrano
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