Carlos Marmol may be out as Cubs closer
Carlos Marmol appears to have lost his job as the Cubs' closer -- at the very least he's making his manager think long and hard about using him in a closing situation. Rafael Dolis and James Russell are said to be alternative options.
After a performance that Marmol himself said "embarrassed" him (via Patrick Mooney on Twitter), Cubs manager Dale Sveum told reporters he will consider using Rafael Dolis and James Russell in closing situations moving forward, though he didn't specifically say Marmol was done as the closer.
"If we do elect to go with a change, just use matchups," Sveum said (chicagotribune.com). Dolis is right handed and Russell is left handed, so it would be like a closing platoon. Kerry Wood was not mentioned as an option, as the Cubs seem to want to be careful with him in his return from a shoulder injury.
Marmol entered the ninth with a three-run lead -- Ryan Dempster was brilliant through eight shutout innings -- and proceeded to walk the first two hitters he faced. He wasn't helped by an Ian Stewart error, but then allowed a single and issued another walk before being pulled from the game. Marmol threw 18 pitches and only six were strikes.
Marmol now has a 6.23 ERA and 2.31 WHIP with 12 walks and eight strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings. He was a good closer in 2010, when he had 38 saves, a 2.55 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and an incredible 138 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings. He's regressed into a guy with no confidence and no idea where the ball is going most of the time. I have no idea when the Cubs could ever feel confident about using him. Maybe in a game where they trail by more than five? More than seven?
He's still owed $9.8 million for next season, too.
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