At this point I have a lot more faith in guys like Aaron Heilman and Jae Seo than I do in Victor Zambrano. Here are a few sets of numbers:
The first number is the innings pitched by Zambrano in each start this season. The second number is the baserunners allowed (H+BB+HBP) for each start. Ideally (for Zambrano at least), the second number should only be a little bit higher than the first. In most cases, unfortunately, that number has been around twice the first.
What that means is that Zambrano is allowing something like two baserunners every inning. Of course, some innings he doesn't allow any baserunners, which means that in other innings the baserunners really start to pile up. His ERA is now 5.64 and is WHIP (BB+H per IP) is 2.01, which doesn't even include HBP.
It's only four starts, but things just aren't looking very promising. We knew he was prone to walking a lot of batters, but now he's giving up a ridiculous number of hits, too.
IP H/9 BB/9
2003 188.1 7.88 5.07
2004 142.0 7.54 6.47
2005 22.1 12.49 5.64
His BB/9 have been consistently awful, but his H/9 were actually quite good the last two years. So far this year he's been really hittable. Yearly inconsistencies in BABIP (batting average on balls in play) tend to be a product of luck (mostly) and defense (somewhat), and BABIP is the primary component of H/9.
If his hits allowed regress towards the mean (back to around 8, if 8 can even be considered the mean), he should return to his prior form: a league average pitcher. That's about the best we can hope for at this point.