UPDATE (Sunday 2:33 CT): The Cubs will recall pitcher Casey Coleman to replace Zambrano. Coleman posted a 7.23 ERA and a 2-4 record before being optioned back to Iowa. In 12 starts in Triple-A he owns a 3.65 ERA and a 5-2 record.
UPDATE (3:22 CT): Paul Sullivan posted on his Twitter that the Cubs have placed Carlos Zambrano on the disqualified list, meaning he will not be paid or allowed contact with the team for 30 days. No word yet on who the Cubs will call up in his place. They do not have a viable starter waiting in the wings at Triple-A, but if they intend to look for the future they have several options who could receive a look.
UPDATE (1:44 CT): Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Cubs are talking with the agents of Carlos Zambrano and will place him on the restricted list (for the second time in two seasons) if they cannot come to a successful resolution after his blow up yesterday. There's some speculation that the Cubs are trying to buyout Zambrano, but those reports have been confirmed by MLBDD as "not true."
The Cubs want to find out what happened and if he will be returning this season, but Zambrano has not sent any letter of retirement to the MLB.
After being ejected in the fifth inning of Friday's game against the Braves, Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano cleaned out his locker at Turner Field and told clubhouse staff he intends to retire. Zambrano threw two inside pitcher to Chipper Jones after giving up two home runs, although he gave up a career high five home runs in all.
"His locker is cleaned out. He's gone," Quade said. "I don't know what else to make of that. I'm running a ballgame and I've got 24 guys that I care about, so I didn't have time to speak to him. But I come in here and see an empty locker, I figure he's decided he's had enough."
Big Z is 9-7 this season with a 4.82 ERA, but has struggled since the All-Star break posting a 6.42 ERA in six starts. This situation looks like it is going to get worse before it gets better. Manager Mike Quade is not happy that Zambrano walked out on his teammates, and that could be a point of contention if Big Z decides to return. Marlon Byrd, although relatively new to the Cubs, is familiar with this Zambrano.
"He's talked about it before when I wasn't here. I guess we'll see tomorrow. If he doesn't show up, then we might not see him again."
My guess is Zambrano will show up today and "unretire," but more importantly clarify his comments and apologize for abandoning his teammates. It is hard to say whether not he will be in Chicago in 2012, considering no one's job is safe in the Cubs' front office. In the short term, I think players like Aramis Ramirez will see it is just "Big Z being Big Z."
"I've never seen somebody just grab their stuff and leave and retire," Ramirez said. "And I've been around for a while. Players don't do that. He's been playing for a while, too. He knows anybody can have a bad game, a bad week, a bad month. It happens to everybody. He's not the only one...I know he's not a bad guy. He just doesn't know how to control his emotions sometimes."
More on this story as details come forward.