Carlos Zambrano officially toed the rubber in Chicago for the first time in quite a while. The biggest difference, of course, is that the former Cubs hurler wasn't doing it in Wrigley field, or any other National League stadium. This time around, Zambrano was taking the mound for the Chicago Dogs of the Independent League.

While some fans might assume that he just missed the game of baseball and wants to hear the roar of a crowd (even a smaller one) again, it turns out he actually has a plan. The man who I think was once the best hurler on the Cubs' staff wants to get back to the bigs.

While it might be a long shot for the 37-year-old, Big Z looked every bit the part of the dominant pitcher he once was. While that might not seem all that impressive when you are talking about Independent League batters, Zambrano hasn't pitched since 2012. The hurler managed to go an inning while striking out two in what amounts to a Spring Training game for the Dogs.

Coming out of the pen

Give the former Chicago Cubs pitcher credit. He knows that if he is somehow able to make a comeback, it's not going to be in anyone's rotation. This time around, Zambrano is going to have to make a career out of being a relief pitcher.

That might actually be something a bit more realistic. Relief pitching is always at a premium.

I don't have any stats on just what he was throwing on Monday night (May 13). If he has anything close to the velocity he had with the Cubs, when he was routinely hitting 97 or 98 MPH, then he has a very outside shot.

He's got quite a few obstacles if he really hopes to get back to the majors. He did try and make a comeback two years ago with Mexico and a Venezuelan Winter League squad.

He never posted better than a 5.00 ERA.

The long shot

There is also the fiery temper that Carlos Zambrano became known for that is standing in his way. Toward the end of his career, when far too many of his pitches were flying out of the park, that temper became cartoonish. He was once in a fight with his own catcher in the dugout for the Chicago Cubs.

When it comes to baseball, it becomes hard to overcome a reputation as someone who is going to freak out and yell at the first sign of trouble.

There is also the small point that Independent League players very rarely get the call. They rarely even get minor league contracts. It's hard to see a situation where a major league team comes calling for a 37-year-old reliever who has a history of bad pitching as well as a temper. Even if he once played for the Chicago Cubs and his name is Carlos Zambrano.

Stats tell the story for the Chicago Cubs this season.