Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano and White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin earned a Silver Slugger awards Thursday as voted upon by league managers and coaches. The honor is presented annually by Louisville Slugger to the best offensive players at each position in each league.
Zambrano is now a two-time winner of a Silver Slugger award, also earning the honor in 2006. He is only the third Cub in franchise history to earn multiple Silver Sluggers, joining Ryne Sandberg (seven times at second base) and Sammy Sosa (six times as an outfielder). Zambrano is the only pitcher in club history to earn this honor.
In 2008, Zambrano became the first pitcher in major league history to win a Silver Slugger and throw a no-hitter in the same season, as he no-hit the Houston Astros on September 14 at Miller Park. Zambrano joins Fernando Valenzuela, Dwight Gooden and Bob Forsch as the lone pitchers to win a Silver Slugger award and toss a no-hitter in their careers. Only Valenzuela matched Zambrano with two Silver Sluggers (1981, 1983) and one no-hitter (1990).
Zambrano batted .337 (28-for-83) with four home runs, four doubles, one triple, 14 RBI and a .554 slugging percentage last season, notching the highest batting average by a Cubs pitcher in the modern era (since 1900). The switch-hitter became the first pitcher in major league history with an RBI in eight straight starts from July 19-August 26. Zambrano also recorded a hit in 13 consecutive starts from June 2-August 26, the first pitcher to do so since Wilbur Cooper had a 15-game run in 1924.
The 27-year-old Zambrano already owns the franchise record with 16 career home runs by a pitcher, surpassing the previous mark of 13 blasts by Fergie Jenkins.
Quentin, 26, hit .288 with 26 doubles, 36 home runs and 100 RBI in 130 games. Quentin ranked second in the AL in home runs and slugging percentage (.571) and tied for 11th in RBI despite missing the final 26 games with a fractured right wrist.
2008 Silver Slugger Team
Selected by major league coaches and managers
(Career awards in parentheses)
1B - Justin Morneau (1), Minnesota
2B - Dustin Pedroia (1), Boston
3B - Alex Rodriguez (10), New York
SS - Derek Jeter (3), New York
OF - Josh Hamilton (1), Texas
OF - Carlos Quentin (1), WHITE SOX
OF - Grady Sizemore (1), Cleveland
C - Joe Mauer (2), Minnesota
DH - Aubrey Huff (1), Baltimore
1B - Albert Pujols (4), St. Louis
2B - Chase Utley (3), Philadelphia
3B - David Wright (2), New York
SS - Hanley Ramirez (1), Florida
OF - Matt Holliday (3), Colorado
OF - Ryan Ludwick (1), St. Louis
OF - Ryan Braun (1), Milwaukee
C - Brian McCann (2), Atlanta
P - Carlos Zambrano (2), CUBS