I doubted Carlos Marmol as the closer.
Too many walks, too many hit batters…too wild for the ninth inning.
But Marmol is proving me all wrong!
He’s 5-of-6 in save situations…held the opponent scoreless in 13-of-15 outings…has 33 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched, which equals 18 Ks per nine innings…tops in all of baseball!
Marmol’s showing he’s still one of the game’s best relievers…and the right fit for the Cubs’ closer’s role, too.
But there’s just one problem…albeit, one that’s out of his control…the Cubs’ inability to give him a late-inning lead.
If…and it’s a BIG IF…the Cubs ever get it together offensively…Marmol’s looking at an All Star appearance…and the Cubs, a glimmer of hope for catching the Cardinals.
Glad the Cubs avoided arbitration with Marmol, although I’ve never been sold on Marmol as the Cubs closer.
I think he’s hands-down the best set-up man in the majors, which is why I’d keep him in that role.
But the Cubs and Marmol, of course, agree closing is in the team’s best interest.
And while I realize he went 11-for-11 in saves last year, the frequency at which this guy losses the strike zone will be frightening come the ninth inning.
I’m spending the weekend at the Old Town Wine Crush.
Good weather, good food and apparently some good wine, too.
I do enjoy the occasional glass of grape, but don’t mistake me for a vino snob; I’m a beer drinker first.
The Cubs are toast without Aramis Ramirez.
They can’t seem to score without him, and it’s costing them dearly in the standings.
Doesn’t matter that Ramirez won’t be fully healthy for the remainder of the season, the Cubs just need whatever he can give.
D-Lee could use the protection, Fukudome could use the leadoff spot and the starting pitching could use the support that was present with Aramis batting fifth.
Until Aramis’ return, however, we’re subject to watching the Cubs’ offense repeat its struggles from the season’s first half.
This aint May or June, mind you, so what you see is what you get…and I see the Cubs slipping worse than a rusty bicycle chain.
Two seasons in the bigs and Carlos Marmol already has an ego problem suitable for the NFL.
His melancholy comments in regards to being named the set-up man, and not the closer, are far from congratulatory words for teammate Kevin Gregg.
“I guess it’s good for the team,” said Marmol.
Worse, Marmol is now saying the team’s competition for the closer’s role was a hoax, that he’s been mislead and that the Cubs already had their mind made up Gregg would be closing even before heading to Spring Training.
How convenient Marmol mutters this after the fact. No sense mentioning these views a few weeks ago, Carlos?
Throwing the nastiest slider in the NL comes at a price.
Meaning everything about Carlos Marmol’s violent delivery says the guy is going to run into some serious arm trouble eventually.
And while modern medicine can extend pitching careers, it won’t save Carlos’ devastating slider.
That said, I wouldn’t change Marmol’s style one-bit…instead, I ride that right arm of his until it snaps like a rubber band.
Thankfully Carlos Marmol will return from the Classic in full physical health, which was a concern of mine when the Cubs’ best reliever opted to pitch for his native D.R.
However, his mental game is undoubtedly in question after blowing a 1-run lead against the Netherlands in what completed the Classic’s biggest upset to date.
So I ask you this: which would you rather have of Marmol, a sore elbow or a bruised ego?
Ninety percent of life is how you respond, to both favor and disappointment, thus leaving Marmol under the microscope for the remainder of Spring Training.
So much for the Cubs’ closer competition, Carlos Marmol is forfeiting with his decision to pitch for the D.R. in the Classic.
No, it’s not official, but believe me, the competition is over, Kevin Gregg is the Cubs’ closer.
And I have to believe Marmol knows this too or he wouldn’t have declined the invite from the D.R. in the first place.
Of course, I don’t know why Marmol changed his mind, but I still think it’s a silly decision.
Thank goodness the Cubs have a position battle for the closer’s role.
If this wasn’t the case Carlos Marmol is probably pitching for the D.R. in the World Baseball Classic.
Can’t think of any good that would come from Carlos turning it up a few short weeks after his Winter Ball post-season play and a mere six weeks before Opening Day.
Listen, I understand the general idea behind the Classic as an opportunity to showcase the game of baseball on a world-wide stage.
But MLB needs to realize that its star players, organizations and fans care far more about the regular season than they do about a meaningless tournament.
Carlos Marmol speaks clearly when mentioning he wants to be the Cubs closer.
And I’ll speak clearly to say I like Marmol as a set-up man vs. closer.
Why keep the most dynamic slider in baseball waiting in the bullpen for save opportunities?
Use the guy’s rubber-arm to shut down the opposition during the seventh and eighth innings presenting save opportunities for Kevin Gregg.
Closing games is more about mentality than stuff; look no further than Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera.
Carlos pitches with intense emotion, too intense for closing ballgames on a regular basis.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Marmol’s flair on the mound and I love the way he sparks the Cubs lineup whether they’re leading or trailing on the scoreboard.
But, I’m afraid that emotional charge is lost if Lou only trots him out to the mound in the ninth inning.
What I’m saying is, I like Marmol for who he is as a pitcher: durable, emotional and effective.
And it’s not like the club is without a closer: Gregg saved 61 games for Florida during the past two seasons.
Plus, if Marmol’s post season numbers are an indication of how he’ll produce on the hot-seat, well, he’s in for a tough transition – 5.2 IP, 6H, 5ER and a 7.94 ERA.