Kyuji Fujikawa replaces Carlos Marmol as Cubs closer

Carlos Marmol is out as Cubs closer and Kyuji Fujikawa is in. (Getty Images)

More MLB: Scoreboard | Standings | Probable Pitchers | Sortable Stats | Odds

You'll recall that incumbent Cubs closer Carlos Marmol on Saturday night in Atlanta gave up a pair of homers to a pair of brothers and in the process blew yet another save.

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.

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for and He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories