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Zambrano a willing mentor

After helping fellow Venezuelan Carlos Silva with his mental approach, right-hander Carlos Zambrano said his leadership extends well beyond being Silva's life coach.

"I was trying to do my job as a leader," Zambrano said. "Not only with Silva, but with young guys like [Andrew] Cashner. Sometimes I sit down with Cashner and say, ‘You need to do this with your stuff. You have great stuff, you have to trust it.'

"Whoever needs my support on tips, I'll be there, for anybody. I'm there to support my teammates."

Zambrano was asked if he's a changed man after going through eight months of anger management classes, which ended in December.

"You should ask me if they helped me," Zambrano said. "Not if I'm a changed man."

Zambrano continued to look impressive on the mound Tuesday, throwing three innings of one-run baseball. He dodged a potential big inning by pitching out of a jam that that the defense created in the second with errors of omission. The old Zambrano might have blown up in the same situation, but not the new and improved version.

"I have to do my job," he said. "I don't worry about anybody else. This year, I want to concentrate on what I can do. I don't want to worry about left field or center field. I only want to worry about what's going on the mound."

Zambrano told Silva on Tuesday basically the same thing he's been telling himself.

"I told him to be the same guy he was in Minnesota," Zambrano said. "I was just giving some support for him. I told him to go out there and have fun, like I'm always trying to do . I told him whatever happens, don't let it affect your preparation for the season."

Zambrano is a more patient and focused pitcher since coming back to the team Aug. 9. He was 8-0 after returning, and he's now thrown eight innings this spring, yielding one earned run on seven hits.

"The more he can stabilize the pitching end of it and the clubhouse, the better we're going to be," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He's been impressive on and off the field this spring."