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Cubs Need New Closer, Right?

By bullpenbrian at 09.25.2011 Leave a comment.

I would be greatly disappointed if Carlos Marmol returns as the Cubs closer next year. And I think it’s fair to say I wouldn’t be the only one.

Marmol’s frequent inability to throw strikes has largely accounted for his 10 blown saves this season–the most in the majors.

Walks, in particular, are a closer’s worst enemy and Carlos has 46 in just 73 innings.

That alone is the definition of a closer beating himself, and it’s apparent the opposition has caught on given Marmol’s above 6.00 ERA over his last 35 appearances.

His overall numbers are not any better. A (2-6) record and unsightly 3.86 ERA are unfavorable compared to the rest of the league’s best shut-down men.

For one thing, eight of the top-10 closers in MLB have an ERA less than 3.00, and six post an ERA less than 2.50.

Not surprisingly, half the top-10 closers will be pitching in the postseason. Just more proof the Cubs won’t win with a guy as unpredictable as Marmol closing games.

As I’ve said before, however, just because Marmol isn’t suited for the closer’s role doesn’t mean he’s not a valuable arm in the late innings.

With the Cubs sporting the major’s third best improvement in bullpen ERA since last season, adding Marmol along side Sean Marshall would be an added bonus come April.

But acquiring a top-of-the-line closer has become yet another priority for the Cubs during this most important offseason.

Marmol, unfortunately, isn’t the best answer in the ninth. Any GM can see that, right?

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