ZAMBRANO LEARNING

Carlos Zambrano is trying to repair his image.  In the process, he may have to refine how he pitches.  

The past few seasons Zambrano's strikeout totals have declined, while hits have steadily climbed.  At age 29, the Big Z is not throwing with the same velocity he did when he helped lead the Cubs to back-to-back postseason trips in 2007 and 2008.

"He was a thrower for a long time.  He had such great stuff, he could out-stuff you for four at-bats," said former Cubs pitcher and Giants TV broadcaster Mike Krukow.  "But as you start to lose stuff, now you have to learn how to pitch.  

"He's at a transition point in his career. He needs to learn how to pitch with the fastball.  He needs to learn how to pitch with consistency to target.  He needs to learn how to throw off-speed pitches in fastball counts. He needs to learn how to read hitters.  

"He can't just go out there and be a bully.  He's very athletic and it's obviously something he can do.  

Carlos Zambrano will join me on the Cubs Central Pregame Show tonight from San Francisco at 8:40 p.m.

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