Kyuji Fujikawa replaces Carlos Marmol as Cubs closer
The Cubs have made a change at closer after Saturday night's agonizing blown save by Carlos Marmol.
In part because of that outing, the Cubs have decided to make a change when it comes to protecting ninth-inning leads: Marmol is out as closer, and Kyuji Fujikawa is in, tweets Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
Marmol's numbers in 2013 are so grim as to prompt a campaign of Wikipedia vandalism against him. But it goes beyond that. His control problems (330 career unintentional walks in 516 1/3 innings) in tandem with occasional bouts of gopher-itis mean it's rarely been easy for Marmol in high-leverage situations. The Cubs, it would seem, have had enough.
As for Fujikawa, the 32-year-old rookie import had about as bad a night in Atlanta as Marmol did, but he's not freighted with Marmol's history. In parts of six seasons in Japan's Central League, Fujikawa was beyond dominant: 1.36 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 5.43 K/BB ratio. Let's also recall that Fujikawa's elevation to closer could be motivated in part by the desire to trade him as part of the ongoing rebuilding process.