Carlos “El Toro” Zambrano, pitching coach for Tiburones de La Guaira, has played a crucial role in improving the team’s pitching performance. Zambrano emphasizes the importance of each pitcher understanding their role and studying the game situation to effectively combine pitches and strategize against batters. Under his guidance, the team has made significant progress in an area that was previously their weakness.
In the recent round robin, Tiburones de La Guaira finished as the best team in terms of pitching effectiveness (3.94 ERA) and WHIP (1.35). They allowed only five home runs, while their opponents conceded at least 11 home runs each.
Zambrano attributes this improvement to the pitchers’ ability to consistently stay ahead in the count and avoid giving walks. He believes that every time a walk is issued, it often results in a run. Therefore, the team focuses on preventing walks and maintaining concentration throughout the game.
As a former MLB player with 132 wins and 91 losses in his career, Zambrano understands the importance of concentration for pitchers. He works closely with them to ensure they are focused on executing each pitch effectively, inning by inning, and game by game.
Although Zambrano doesn’t receive direct requests for advice on specific pitches, he closely observes the pitchers and provides guidance to correct any pitching details or mechanics. He also helps pitchers adapt to the unique characteristics of the baseball used in Venezuela, which has more seams and requires adjustments to achieve the desired pitch movement.
Impact of Luis Torrens
Zambrano acknowledges the contributions of the catchers on the team, including Rivero, Arcia, and Briceño. However, he specifically highlights the outstanding performance of Luis Torrens during the successful round robin.
According to Zambrano, Torrens has been a valuable addition to the team due to his quality as a catcher. Torrens excels in various aspects of the game, such as making pickups, blocking balls, and throwing to second base. Opposing teams often hesitate to attempt stolen bases against them because they recognize Torrens’ skills behind the plate. Additionally, Zambrano emphasizes Torrens’ ability to effectively call the game and remain fully engaged throughout, which greatly benefits the pitchers.
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Zambrano, who also worked as a pitching coach for Guerreros de Lara in the Liga Mayor de Beisbol Profesional (LMBP) last year, values the learning opportunities provided by the Venezuelan league. He believes that there is a wealth of experience both on and off the field, ready to assist young players who may not yet have a career in organized baseball, but still have a lot to offer.
However, Zambrano acknowledges the challenges of the league. Many players struggle to adjust to the short season and limited time for making necessary changes. He has witnessed players who initially perform well, only to face difficulties as opponents figure out their weaknesses.
Carlos Alberto Zambrano, who proudly represented Caribes de Anzoátegui and Navegantes del Magallanes in the LVBP during his playing career, continues to make a significant impact as a pitching coach for Tiburones de La Guaira.