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No matter how you look at it, it's time for Cubs to part ways with Carlos Marmol

No matter how you look at it, it's time for Cubs to part ways with Carlos Marmol

The numbers aren't pretty.  And for the most part it hasn't been bad luck.  Carlos Marmol's peripherals match his results.   Marmol has a 6.08 ERA, but the FIP isn't any better at 6.36.  We know about the walks -- he is giving out free passes at a rate of 7.09 per 9 innings pitched, but that's actually lower than last year.

The BABIP is roughly the same as it has been the past 3 years so we have to assume that something close to the league average (.300) is the new standard for Marmol, who was much more unhittable early in his career.

What has really hurt Marmol this year are the HRs.  He has given them up at a rate of just a shade of over 2 per 9 innings pitched.  Yesterday, he gave up two HRs in one inning and it resulted in perhaps the most frustrating loss since, well, since the last time Marmol gave up two HRs in the 9th inning -- way back in April in a loss to the Braves when the Upton brothers capped off a rally after being down 5-1 after 7 innings.

The HRs are a newest chink in Marmol's armor, which increasingly looks like it's been through a few too many battles.  Marmol rates per inning the last 4 years have been less than one (o.24, 0.12, 0.61, and 0.64).  At least part of that is likely some bad luck.  The flyball per HR rate has skyrocketed to 20.7% from just 7.8% last year and ridiculous low rates of 2.6% and 1.6% in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, respectively.

That higher percentage of flyballs is the closest thing you can point to if you are looking for any silver linings -- any signs that Marmol is getting unlucky.

But even if you give him the benefit of the doubt and completely chalk up that HR rate to bad luck (and not simply hitters squaring him up more this season) then things are still not encouraging for Marmol's peripheral rates.  His xFIP rate, which normalizes for HR rate, is still very high at 4.97.  So, all other things being equal, even if he does cut HRs down to a league average rate, he'll still likely have mop-up reliever results.

So even the most optimistic fan doesn't much to cling to here when it comes to explaining Marmol's poor results this season.

It's not as easy to explain why those results are so poor this season.  The velocity is still good (92.6 mph) and the slider is still somewhat effective, but nowhere near the dominant pitch it used to be -- but that was true last year as well.  In fact, the horizontal movement on his slider has been in steady decline.

One other concerning trend is that the fastball, which was once effective enough to set up that nasty slider, has become more hittable each of the past 3 seasons.  The Cubs want Marmol to throw more fastballs so that he can get ahead and set up the slider, but the truth is that that the fastball is getting hit and it hasn't really helped him walk less hitters.  The changed approach with more fastballs seemed to fool hitters last year who were looking for sliders early in the count, but it appears advanced scouting reports have caught up again and now hitters are pouncing on that fastball.

Marmol has thrown more sliders again this year but it's diminished movement means it isn't good enough to bail him out anymore.

There has to be a question now as to how much value Marmol adds to this team.  The frustration from fans is well-documented but there were also reports of frustration in the clubhouse yesterday.  Even the normally cool and collected Alfonso Soriano lost it yesterday.

"I'm not like that, but sometimes I've got to let it go," he said. "I don't want to keep it inside of me. Now I feel better. I think everybody feels the same. We needed that game to go to St. Louis with confidence."

"When we have a 99 (percent) chance to win the game, it's very tough the last inning," he said. "Three outs left and we lost the game. It's unacceptable, especially when we're winning 3-0 and (Matt) Garza's pitching a very good game. It's hard to swallow. We thought we swept those guys and had some momentum going to St. Louis. … It's not a good feeling."

To top it off manager Dale Sveum, publicly acknowledged what he has likely known for awhile,

"There are only certain people that can get those last three outs sometimes," Sveum said. "We all know that he's gotten a lot of saves in his career. But for some reason now … he doesn't quite have the slider he used to, so it's not that easy. But something is going on in the other innings that's not going on in the last inning."

It sounds like the Cubs have given up on the idea of re-establishing Marmol's value in the closer role.  While 2013 is already a lost year in terms of being able to contend, you still want to give your team a chance to win day in and day out.

It's hard to imagine this point that the Cubs can pick up value in any trade for Marmol.  A middle reliever with control issues and a $9.8M isn't going to have other GMs banging ont the door.

Whether you look at this from a process view or a results view, Carlos Marmol just isn't the same pitcher anymore.  Whether he can regain that remains to be seen, but the odds of that happening before the trade deadline seem pretty slim -- and even if Marmol does regain some of his mojo, teams will still be wary about trading for a reliever who hasn't been consistently reliable over the past 3 seasons.

The best move at this point is for both the Cubs and Carlos Marmol to move on.  A change of scenery may do both sides some good.

Filed under: Analysis

Tags: Carlos Marmol

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  • After careful consideration and our mutual admiration for an intelligent, fact based debate, all i can say is: "If Marmol were my pet, I'd euthanize him".

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Well, at least send him away to a farm. Maybe he's still got something left. His arm is still good and he's relatively young. Maybe he can still be useful, but it won't be here in Chicago.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    At least they can finally give up on trying to force him into the closer role. John, any idea on his closer vs set up numbers? I feel like he still has the stuff to be the best set up guy in the game (like he was), he just doesn't have the mindset to close.

    I think we can get some great value for him if he reasserts himself as a dominant setup guy. If you're in a tight race and the best set up guy's available- a bidding war is a possibility. We've made it known we'd pay off contracts to get a nice return. But every time they try to force him into the closer role, it delays his timetable for settling back down in a set up role. MTC.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Old Yeller style. Shotgun blast to the face.

  • Serious question, does he have more or less value than Campana did? Because if it's even close, I think you stick with him in the hopes that you can get anything out of him (even a DSL lottery ticket). It's not like his blowing games matters at this point. In fact, if anything it helps the Cubs long term with a better draft pick.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    He affects the moral on the team big time, and that is not a good thing going forward for the development of our younger players IMHO.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Morale

    Wish I could spell correctly today!

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    If they really intend to gut the team, then I don't think the front office is as concerned with morale as maximizing the value of assets.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    ..But you do want the young players you intend to keep to believe in the management, right? You want to give them a few wins here and there (or at least as few losses like this) to give them an idea if idea of what they are working towards. Winning. And to instill in them the idea that you know how to get there. Cut the guy. It's best fit everyone.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    Or, if he doesn't have Campana-like value, could he reestablish Campana-like value between now and the waiver trade deadline? (As a side note, I really hope Colin Wyers reads the phrase "Campana-like trade value").

  • In reply to CubsML:

    I don't think putting in a guy to close games just to blow them and improve your draft status is even a consideration.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Improving draft status is the silver lining. The serious part is letting him reestablish value between now and the waiver trade deadline, because if he's worth anything it's better than getting nothing from a dfa.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    I really can't see him re-establishing much value. What GM is going to be convinced by 4 or 5 good weeks from Marmol after he's been in steady decline for 3 years? I think people know exactly what Marmol is and it's why teams were so hesitant to trade for him even after his strong finish last year. The best offer was the shell of Dan Haren with the Cubs pitching in a boatload of money.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I actually think Marmol had a slim amount of trade value before yesterday. Not enough to take on his whole salary, but enough to at least take him, with a pile of Cubs cash. He was worth a roster spot

    I now do not think that any team in baseball trying to contend will even allocate a roster spot. I can see Marlins or somebody as a cheap reclaim project, but that's it........

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Campana hasn't logged an MLB game and we got something for him. I think it's plausible Marmol could establish himself a 25th guy on a roster. His 2012 2nd half wasn't that long ago.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    True. It's plausible, I suppose. Even if it is a DSL lottery ticket, as you say. In fact, I'd deal him and pay his salary for international pool money.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd be happy with that too.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    No pressure. Team out of contention. Can you ask if the Bosox or Tigers would want this Wildman in the bottom of the 9th with a 1-run lead?

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    He doesn't have to be that guy. He could be a mop up, low leverage guy. Or he could start out in that position, but with some work with a new pitching coach, in front a different set of fans, in a different club house, different media and possibly work him self back into medium levarage situations for a playoff team.

  • DFA hin now.

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    It's time for Marmol to go. He is going to get his money either way. I'm sick of watching him blow leads, and I don't give a rats ass, even if it is helping our 2014 draft position.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Agreed. I understand losing helps the pick, but putting in Marmol to aid that cause is inexcusable. Let the team compete and at least give them a fighting chance to win.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    The 2014 team is not helped by him being in there. I would much rather watch Blake Parker or Rodriguez blow that lead. There is, at least, a chance they'll actually get better.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, wouldn't that Dan Haren trade for MarmHole look a little better right now?

  • The Cubs need to get Marmol away from the team. A trade isn't likely any time soon. Release him or create a phony "injury" and put him on the DL.

  • None of those scenarios would surprise me at all. I believe the Cubs are going to act soon one way or the other.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hope you're right, John. It will be interesting to see what the Cubs do, and how quickly.

  • This is now entirely an issue of management maintaining credibility with players who will be around in 2014 and beyond. Marmol obviously has no trade value, and it's irrelevant whether he's good or bad this year as it pertains to on-field out comes.

    Just imagine how the other Cubs players feel about a management that is willing to throw this horrible pitcher out there so often.

    When Garza, DeJesus, Feldman, etc. leave, you think they're going to tell their new teammates (prospective free agents) that Chicago is a good place to play? That Sveum knows what he's doing? This is really quite damaging.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    That's an interesting take. I think it's swung that way as far as player perception. At some point, Marmol is a likeable guy and veterans may have wanted the Cubs to give him a shot to find his groove because I assume they would want the same consideration. At this point, however, it seems they're growing tired of it as well.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Exactly!!

  • Certainly there is a bad project with upside somewhere we can trade him for. If the other bad project doesn't work, quickly DFA him too.

    Hell, I would have called Marmol for Henry Rodriguez a good deal, even though I'm sure the Nationals want no part of Marmol at this present time.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Project for project seems plausible, especially if contracts are similar.

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    In reply to givejonadollar:

    I don't think we, as Cub fans, will ever be as down on H-Rod as we are on Marmol. One, he doesn't make $9 mil bucks, but more importantly, we know right now what H-Rod is, we know what we are getting into.....he's got the same issues as walking everybody. It's all upside at this point.

  • I'm sure all those guys enjoy playing in Chicago (aside from the struggles of the team) and I highly doubt anything they say would have an impact on a potential free agent's decision. Marmol blowing yet another game is not damaging to the overall future of this franchise whatsoever, in my opinion.

    That being said, relegate him to mop-up duty or DFA him.

  • In reply to Eric:

    It will all be forgotten once the Cubs start winning Marmol won't be in Chicago this offseason and it won't have any effect on future free agents.

    But in general, I can't agree that current players don't have an impact on a potential free agent's decision. We know that current players do have some influence. The biggest factor by far, as always, is money, and the teams ability to compete is probably next.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not saying players don't talk or don't have any influence on potential free agents. I was saying I find it hard to believe that the players referenced in the post (Garza, Feldman, DeJesus) would say anything that would steer a player away from Chicago. They all seem to enjoy it here and, despite the losing, it does not seem that we have a poisonous clubhouse. The players still seem to get along for the most part.

  • John, you have good understanding when it comes to the business side of baseball and strategic FO moves... What I'm thinking here is that if Marmol gets DFA'd, nobody will pick him up with his salary and he could clear waivers and either accept the minor league assignment or become a FA... If he accepts the assignment we still pay him but he's not blowing games at the MLB level and maybe could get his act together... If he becomes a FA, then we don't have to pay him the rest of his salary.

    Am I right with this? And what is your take? Do you think he can get DFA'd and clear waivers?

  • In reply to Caps:

    I think he'd clear waivers because of his salary but he has to consent to be put on waivers because of his service time. He has no incentive to do that because it puts him in a no-win position of either forfeiting his salary or going to the minors.

    They're going to have to dump him either for salvage value or outright release him. Either way, they're eating the salary.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh crap, I forgot about his service time. Thanks John!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks... I figured the answer was not so simple... It explains why he's gotten so many chances.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Thats my understanding Caps. I don't think anyone would claim him because of his salary. I bet he and his agent know this and would accept the AAA assignment. Then either he gets his act together by pitching through it at the AAA level or not. But at least we don;t have to watch him blow games at the MLB level anymore.

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    BTW, after the trade deadline, I don't think we're going to have to worry about draft position. Once Garza and Feldman are gone, draft position will take care of itself.

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    I'm glad the responses here are not emotional, but rational, because the easy thing to say would be "He sucks, cut him". But the smart thing is to pull back and weigh the pros-cons. Nobody can defend the performance, but what do the Cubs gain by cutting him? What do they lose?

    What the Cubs lose is the possibility that Marmol turns it around, and provides good pitching at some point. I think the possibility of trading him is gone; it would only be to win games in the later part of the year.

    What the Cubs gain is a 40-man spot, basically. And maybe a morale boost, because it sounds like Marmol has lost his teammates.

    I advocated earlier to keep Marmol, because I didn't think there was anyone we could put in his slot who had the same ceiling as Marmol. At this point, his slot is likely occupied by Chris Rusin or Bowden or some other guy who ultimately is just a guy. Marmol isn't blocking anyone special.

    But if Marmol truly does not have that ceiling anymore, and his stuff is gone, then he may as well go.

    I think that's looking at it rationally.....

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Well said!

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thank you!

    That being said, the other part of me says "he sucks, let's cut his A**!!"

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Agreed. I think it's hard to be rational in these kind of matters. And though I tend to be more analytical, even I wanted to wait a bit before writing this piece. That was frustrating yesterday but after distancing myself for about a day, it made me want to look into why he's doing so poorly. I very badly wanted to find positives, as I have with Edwin Jackson, just couldn't dig them up except for an unlucky HR rate -- but even that isn't enough to save him.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Carlos Marmol has had three years to "turn it around" and he has gotten progressively worse every year (as John's numbers point out).

    The body of evidence is there. Guys with his numbers just don't hang around very long at the Major league level.

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    In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    That's probably the clincher. It's not like this year is the first year he stinks; 2010 was really his last unequivocably good year.

    E_Jax is completely different; not only were the peripherals telling you he was unlucky, but he's had a long track record of success, including last year

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    In reply to Zonk:

    No kidding. Given the abject insanity this has inspired on another popular Cubs blog this morning, I think the discussion here is the highest tribute the community we've built.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks. I saw some of the reaction to that particular blog after I hit the publish button here and I was worried how this would play out.

    I quickly went back and read it and was relieved that it had our usual analytical vibe. The last thing I want to do is appeal to emotion on stuff like this. While I'm not going to knock anyone else, it's just not my style.

    And I'm thankful all of you guys have reacted in a similar rational way. That's what is so great about this community!

  • At last Dale Sveum has publicly acknowledged what anyone else who follows baseball has known for at least a year. Carlos Marmol isn't a closer anymore. So no more performances like Sunday's, Dale, by Carlos..............or you.

    When is Francona's contract with Cleveland up?

  • In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    Mike Scioscia????

  • Amen.

  • http://www.fangraphs.com/wins.aspx?date=2013-06-16&team=Mets&dh=0&season=2013

  • Marmol gave us a ton of value for someone who failed as a starter (I vividly recall seeing him as an MLB starter and wondering why he was even in the bigs), never cracked a top prospects list, and got severely overworked by Pinella and Quade.

    That said, his ERA's a manageable 4.24 in games that he doesn't pitch the 9th. In games that he does pitch the 9th, his ERA is 9.31. So it's really on Sveum for running him out there in the 9th. Yes, we'd all have liked for him to regained his value as a closer, but he's still a serviceable reliever when he doesn't pitch the 9th. The stuff's down, but I've also got to believe there's a mental block there now. There's no other reasonable explanation for his ERA more than doubling depending on whether or not he pitches the 9th.

    Once Putnam/DeJesus/Clevenger/Dolis comes off the DL, it'll be time to cut Marmol. For the next week or so, Marmol can try and succeed in the middle innings and the front office can hope that some team desperate for bullpen arms is willing to take a flyer on Marmol. At the absolute latest, there's no reason to have Marmol on the roster on September 1st. If you can't trade him by then, just cut your losses, and let him pursue other opportunities.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    If the Cubs want to look at relievers not on the 40 man roster right now from AAA, Yoanner Negrin (3.67 ERA, 49 IP, 4 starts), Hisanori Takahashi (2.05 ERA, 26 1/3 IP), and Casey Coleman (2.91 ERA, 34 IP) have all had extended success with the I-Cubs. All of them would likely provide more MLB value than Marmol at this point.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    please, NO Casey Coleman. Frankly, Id rather try Buatista or McNutt than Coleman, whos proven more than once he sucks as a Major league pitcher.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    Eh, so did Travis Wood. If Theo and Company think Coleman deserves one more shot, I'm all for giving it to him.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Batista isn't really a top relief prospect. Mediocre stuff and command. In fact, he's probably not as good as Coleman. McNutt has good stuff, as does Hatley, Zych. Rosscup is the top lefty. Only McNutt has a roster spot of all these names mentioned and he's still in AA. I think it's more likely Cubs may see Rusin or Raley.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I could see Rusin having a future as a LOOGY, maybe. We may as well try.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Right now, Rusin looks like a legit back of the rotation guy to me. Raley seems more of a LOOGY.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    As if to underscore that. Rusin's line today:

    9 innings, 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, 93 pitches (64 strikes). Get that dude in the rotation.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Coleman also came up very young (22) for his more finesse-oriented style of pitching. Quade left him in a game for something like 56 pitches in an inning back in '11, and I do believe that had residual effects. However, he's a full-time reliever at AAA now, and I do think there's reason to hope.

    If we're going on past track record and nothing more, Scott Feldman had an ERA of over 5 in two of the three seasons before the Cubs signed him. From 2004-2007, Edwin Jackson's ERA was never below 5.40. Should have never gotten another chance, right?

    Coleman was rushed by Hendry's front office due to a combination of poor drafting and even worse monetary support by the Tribune Company and Sam Zell in the draft. Coleman became a top pitching prospect in the organization simply by default, and was rushed. He seems to have found a groove.

    McNutt's ERA in AA is 4.45. Coleman's at AAA is 2.91. Yes, Coleman's had problems in the bigs before, but taking McNutt over him is just stunting the development of McNutt and not looking at results. You can't let past biases factor into a roster decision.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I think it's unfortunate and he may well have been overworked with Piniella, which I did hint at in the article. Unfortunately Marmol is where he is now and it puts the Cubs in a difficult spot. I wish him well if and when he does go. I think he might have something left in the tank physically.

  • It is time to honestly either come up with injury aka. dead arm or sprained big toe(camp) or something let marmol relax go on minor league rehab assignment gain some confidence in his ability to pitch and see what if anything we can get for him by the waiver trade deadline.

  • I just can't believe the manager just found out marmol can't close ! Where was dale at last year and this year ? Was he drunk on the bench sleep ?

  • "'All the other innings, he's done a pretty good job,' Cubs manager Dale Sveum said."

    It just does not not sound like he is going to get cut - no matter what we think. I am curious to see.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Yes, it does sound like he'll be around, just not closing.

  • I'm getting a little tired of Dale Sveum too. I say jettison Marmol to anywhere or use him only, that's ONLY, as a middle reliever until he fails there also. I did include the word "only" didn't I?

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    i think you used it once or twice. And agreed on Marmol ONLY in middle relief, low leverage situations.

  • i really think the FO is going to have to take a hard look at Sveum at the end of the seasaon and determine if there is any progress being made with the young guys esp Rizzo and Castro. i know he was hired to hopefully teach and not so much about wins and losses.but i'm not seeing the progress

  • If anything, Im seeing regression, particulary with Castro. The kid looks confused. Rizzo still doesn't lay off low pitches off the plate.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I've been thinking this same thing. I'll concede that I don't get to watch the Cubs too much (living abroad, work, etc.) so I'm not married to my assessment, but between the Marmol thing, the regression of a number of players (can anyone really see big progress from any of the players here last year?) and some head scratching in game decisions, I'm starting to sour on Sveum. Obviously it's not all his fault as aging plays a role (Soriano, Marmol, etc.) and perhaps different players inability to make adjustments, but it's hard to point out much that he's done really well.

  • Gotta say, I'm not ready to pull the plug yet but I'm losing faith in Sveum. I don't have a lot of good examples (hence my hesitation) and I like the accountability, but to me, a team's W-L record in one-run games is probably one of the better examples of in-game management, no?

    I get that Gregg wasn't available yesterday, but I think most everyone for a while would have wanted to see Marmol close out a game the least among all Cubs relievers. Especially after he gave up the HR, walk, and hit -- you're really going to leave him in the game? There aren't ANY other Cubs relievers than Gregg who could get us two outs with a two-run lead?

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    I'd like to expand on Jimmy's point a bit. What bothers me about this isn't so much the Carlos Marmol can't close angle (we knew that). What bothers me is Alfonso Soriano's reaction. He is clearly a team leader and for him to react that way suggests that he's frustrated with Marmol and, by extension, the management that keeps giving Marmol chances.

    Add to that the Ian Stewart situation where players banded to him in an us-vs-them mentality. The signs seem to suggest that the Theo/Jed/Date regime is losing the players. That's a bad situation, particularly if guys like Rizzo and Castro are poisoned with it.

    Releasing Marmol strikes me as the very minimum they can do to fix this right now. What scares me is that, if this management team has a flaw, it's in waiting too long to correct a mistake. Ian Stewart and Marmol were both mistakes (for different reasons). They need to be handled to ensure they don't lose the players or, if the plays are already lost, to begin the process of winning them back.

    It's one thing for Michael and I to talk about the benefits of being awful. But the players have to go out and live through this. If they think Jed and Theo want them to lose -- yeah, that's not a happy road to go down.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    You have a good point on Soriano's reaction; it seems Marmol is putting the work in, being a good teammate, etc, he just doesn't have it. Soriano needs to cool it, because he may get to the same point where he just can't do it anymore.....

    But I still think Marmol needs to go

  • I don't hold Marmol responsible for stinking up the place. I hold Sveum responsible. I'm sure Carlos is loving his paycheck, who wouldn't, but he probably feels as bad as most fans do. And I wonder how Garza feels. I know I'm POed.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    Well said Moonlight, and I couldn't agree more!

    The spotlight has to now start turning to Sveum and his odd bullpen decisions. Yesterday wasn't the first head-scratcher bullpen move from coach Dale.

  • i really think its time to can sveum. its tough enough with a young team trying to play the game the right way but when you have a coach who is still learning how to manage a game it makes it even tougher. need an experienced coach who can manage a game while teaching the young guys.

  • giving up HRs to .097 hitters who have virtually no power numbers at even the minor league level? RELEASE him, that seems to be the only way Svuem doesn't find a way for MarmHole to blow another lead.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Actually Nieuwenhuis hit 10 HR's in 39 AAA games before being called up this year. It's not unrealistic to think this kid couldn't hit a BOMB. Especially when marmol is throwing grapefruits up there at mid-thigh height.

  • It's time to cut your losses and release Carlos. No team will give up a solid prospect for him. Even at his best, Marmol, never met an easy save. Often he'd walk and hit a few batters before his unhittable slider took affect. He's no longer unhittable, as every fastball is belt high and too few sliders near the strike zone.

    I don't know if he was over-used or has an injury, but I do know he's put on alot of weight around his belly and butt the last two years. Maybe that has something to do with it.

  • I remember a time when Carlos Marmol was so angry he was not the team's closer when he came up......I forgot who was the closer then, but Marmol believed he was the better closer........

    Let me tell you who will be the next Cub's manager......Mike Scioscia........Angels FO are looking at someone new for 2015 if 2014 turns out to be another bad year for the Angels.....

    I believe at this point, Alfonso is telling his agent do anything to get him out of town.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    The philosophies of Scioscia and this front office are about as opposite as can be. That's one hire I know will never happen.

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    Front page of the Trib's sports site:

    VOTE: Who is the worst closer in Cubs history?

    That is the moment this went from tragedy to farce.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I voted for Al Fonseca.

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    Nice.

    I voted for Rojas, but you really can't go wrong with either.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. Alfonseca voted for himself but he had extra fingers.

  • I believe it's Alfonso Alfonseca:-) Only bring it up because Ron Santo never knew his correct name. I could be wrong. Not thinking real clear right now with being at work and getting re-steamed up from yesterdays game.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    You're right, I was just having some fun with his name.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed.

    Marmol will get alot of votes, but he absolutely isn't when you look at whole career.

    I will choose to remember the 2007-2010 version of Marmol, who had a slider that was the filtheist, most unhittable pitch in baseball.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    PS: The winner should be Dave Smith, 1991. Look it up. AWFUL.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    The last Cub to ever wear #42. Sad.

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    Make him a starter. He can get outs just not the last three.

  • Maybe we can get a prospect in return for him from the Astros since they are trying to tank anyway.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Let's trade him for Randall Delgado or Mike Olt. I hear those guys are struggling too.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Marmol fits in perfectly with the Astros plan -- and they are falling behind the Marlins in the race for the #1 pick,so maybe panic is starting to set in.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That was funny John! That to me places the proverbial exclamation point on your article.

  • Nine Questions for Carlos Marmol......

    #1 - Carlos, do you think it would help if the Cubs should play a favorite "theme" song of yours when you come in to close out games?

    #2 - Did you ever tell Dale you can do better as being a Starter?

    #3 - What are you going to do with all that money you are stealing from the Cubs?

    #4 - Did you or your agent have compromising photos of Cubs GM Jim Hendry to force him to give you that contract?

    #5 - Any chance your career started spiraling down when you refuse to give an autograph to a little boy and his father shouted out filthy words at you?

    #6 - What do you fear most, not ever playing baseball again after this season or playing for the Marlins?

    #7 - Did Matt Garza stop talking to you?

    #8 - Who do you believe is more hated by Cubs fans today.....Steve Bartman or Carlos Marmol?

    #9 - Do you believe the Cubs will burn your uniform number after you are gone?

  • Please, please DFA him now!

    My TV will not survive another outing like yesterday's.

  • Not Marmol related, but it sounds like the Cubs are interested in 26 year old Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who will throw a 3 inning show case tomorrow. Pretty sure his age means he's not subject to the July 2 bonus pool.

    According to Jessie Sanchez "The hard-throwing right-hander has a fastball in the mid-90s, a changeup, fork and a curveball. He made a splash on the international scene at the 2010 University Baseball Championships in Tokyo, and also shined at the Baseball World Cup in '09 and '11."

    Sounds like a decent get.

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    In reply to CubsML:

    As far as I understand it, you're correct he isn't subject to the spending limitations. That alone would probably make Theo excited about him. Given that he sounds like another power arm to add to our growing collection, even better.

    Of course, the Dodgers will offer him $70 million over 4 years when he finishes his warm-up tosses.

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    In reply to CubsML:

    International Free Agents age 23 or over are not subject to the bonus pool rules. It's free game.

    Cuban players should wait until then to defect.....seriously

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    In reply to CubsML:

    PS: ....that 23 year old rule means it's only a matter of time before a Cuban prospect is caught cheating on a birth certificate to make himself appear OLDER. Which would be a first!

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Done. See Aledmys Diaz.

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    In reply to CubsML:

    That's right! Didn't take long, did it?

  • In reply to CubsML:

    Thanks. I'm pretty sure they'll be in big on him. After having lost out on Darvish, Ryu, Puig, etc., maybe they make a bigger bid this time -- not that they didn't make big bids before, but it seems the stakes are higher on these guys.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Here's some video on him for those interested. He's #75

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41Zz6Th1ItY

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    In reply to CubsML:

    Thanks for that.

    John/Kevin/Hoosier/scouting types: is it fair to say that Gonzalez has a good downward plane on his pitches?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I like the way it tails to his arm side on the RH hitters. talk about handcuffs. I see lots of broken bats in his future. Assuming he's still the same. I read something recently (I think on BN) that said he hasn't pitched competitively in 2 years and he had bone spurs removed from his elbow. Supposedly though, The Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox, etc (everyone with $$) have been scouting him in Mexico.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Looks like creates a bit of leverage early in his delivery and he has good height so he has some natural downward plane, better than the guy he's facing, but I wouldn't say it's a steep plane.

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    In reply to CubsML:

    Masahiro Tanaka is another guy to keep an eye on. He'll be posted after this season -- it will be interesting to see if Theo has the funds/desire to go big on him. (Yu Darvish worked out pretty well for the Rangers.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Fukudome, Fujikawa, Takahashi, Hep Sop Choi.......please, enough of these over-rated Pacific Rim players.

  • I remember another reliever for the Cubs who started out pretty good after he joined the club and then went south. He got so bad that people wanted the team to hold a handgun day on a day he was going to start. (They tried him as a starter during his lat year with the club.) The Cubs traded him to the Tigers and two years later he won a Cy Young and a World Series ring. Anybody else recall Willie Hernandez?

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I do believe he had a new name when he was with the Tigers....plus he had really good players surrounding him........how many good players do this Cubs team have?.......be honest on the count.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Guillermo was his real name, and he called himself that a year or so after he won the Cy Young in 1984. You'll recall the Cubs got to the playoffs themselves that year, so they weren't too shabby. (Sutcliffe, Bobby D, etc...) You forgot about that? You call yourself a Cub fan????

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Cubs lost in 84 against the Padres.........Tigers won it all in 84.

    Did you forget about that?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    So your point is...what? The Cubs sucked that year?

    How many wins until this team gets to 89 - 90 wins like you predicted?

  • Here's my thing, and why I hang this squarely on Dale Sveum. It's obvious Marmol shouldn't have been pitching in a closer's role. Okay so fire Dale for that. Whatever... Let's play devils advocate and say that Dale/Bosio or Theo/Jed, etc. had a newfound confidence in Marmol for whatever reason... The situation had 1 out, runners on 2nd & 3rd (tying runs already in scoring position) with 1st base open and the pitchers spot due up next... WHY IN THE WORLD WOULDN'T YOU WALK HIM AND SET UP A DP?.... We can point to Nieuhaus and his .125 BA.... but he slugged 10 HR's in 39 games of AAA ball this year. You know he's got some legit power potential.

    That to me is where Dale lost this game as much as he did when trotted Marmol out there....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The guy who hit the HR, had a .098 batting average......you can't get that guy out, how can you get the next batter out with a higher batting average?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    The guy had 10 HR's and was slugging .486 in 36 games at AAA this year. Just because he's slow to adjust doesn't make him an automatic out. You're placing way too much emphasis on a batting average that based on 31 MLB at bats. Especially when Marmol lobbing grapefruits up there. Who would have been the next batter with a higher average? Do the Mets have a legit power hitting LH PH off of their bench? Just forcing them to use a RH hitter increases Marmols effectiveness.

    I don't expect you to gather the facts prior to forming or stating your opinion. at least you haven't from what I've seen. But I do expect Dale & Co to have this information, including an advanced scouting report on the guy from AAA. I expect Dale to employ some common sense when managing game situations. 1B was open, we had 1 out. Set up the DP, a ground ball wins the game.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    So at the end of the day, a AAA player beat Marmol....a guy who is suppose to be the Cubs closer.......doesn't matter if Marmol walked the guy....Marmol job was to get outs.....instead, Marmol, Dale and the Cubs kissed away another win away.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    So your solution is to inteninally walk the WINNING run?

    I would be screaming on a Cub blog the next day to fire you.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Yep. Gutsy? Perhaps. But a ground ball gets you out of it. Look at that kids games from AAA and it tells you that he hit 10 HR's in 36 games and crushes RH pitching. You really want Marmol pitching to that guy? Especially when Marmol is struggling? Look what happened...

  • If the Cubs went through with the Dan Haren trade, then there is a possibility they would not have signed Feldman.

    Marmol/Haren trade would have happened Nov 2nd
    Scott Baker Signs Nov 13th
    Scott Feldman signs Nov 27th
    Edwin Jackson January 2nd

    Haren has a 5.70 ERA

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    If Marmol was traded, this Cubs team might be at 500.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    That is what is so sad at how this front office made the huge error in not moving marmol, and building an even average bullpen. The cubs have 14 blown saves after the 8th inning. Win half those games, they are 3 games over .500 and four games out for the playoffs.
    I heard this morning from someone in the game, dale has been under orders to use marmol to build value. Players have known and are pissed at front office. Just a complete cluster at this point, good way to destroy an improving young club.

  • If the Cubs get the #1 pick in next years draft....many of you will thank Carlos Marmol for it.

  • Enough is enough. We've given him plenty of chances

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    I was at the game in Atlanta when Marmol gave up the 2 HR's. When the Cubs left runners on in the 7th and the 8th and Fujikawa pitched the 8th instead of the 9th, I told the Braves fans next to me congratulations the Braves just won. We left the stadium before the Cubs finished batting in the 9th. When we cross Henry Aaron Blvd, the first HR fireworks went off. When we got to our car, the second HR fireworks continued to go off. I thanked Marmol for allowing us to beat post-game traffic. We were home in 10 minutes.

  • In reply to Jay Menadue:

    Haha! They must think you're psychic. Of course, when it comes to Marmol, a lot of Cubs fans are becoming psychic.

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    One Braves fan commented, "That's a real negative attitude to have toward your favorite team. You should stay here until the end for your team". I replied, "I have stayed, and this IS the end for my team".

  • Nice article John. I was seeing much the same with the fastball as all of you have. He is just floating it up there and high in the zone. It could not have been teed up better for Byrd or Niewenhaus. I feel that this loss is on Sveum. He knows his pitchers. He knows the 9 inning trouble that Marmol has. He also sees what we are seeing in Marmol facing the 1st batter. You can pretty much see it then if he has it or not. Marmol only has 3 blown saves with yesterday's. Camp has been just as bad as well as Russell leading the team in blown saves. I thought that I would like Sveum. But the more I watch of him and the decisions he makes, the more I feel he needs to go. From these mistakes of placing Marmol into the 9th when Parker is available and has been closing in AAA to Sveum speaking up in the press about using the minors to motivate Rizzo and Castro to continuously keeping his starters in too long. Maybe Marmol does need a change of scenery, but the same applies to Sveum. JMO

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    Good article John and lots of great comments. I remember the Marmol of a few years ago who was virtually unhittable and seemed to strike out 2/3 of the batters he faced. He was always wild, but his stuff was just electric. I was never confident that his command would improve much, but he really has regressed badly. It is definitely time to part ways. If then could get anything for him, they should trade him tomorrow. If not, you have to think about just giving him his walking papers. At this point, I just don't see a future for him in Chicago.

  • In reply to Tom Wozniak:

    Thanks Tom. Agreed. There's no future for him in Chicago. It's just a matter of finding a landing place for him. I hope he gets things on track. He's still young.

  • I'm surprised at all this handwringing and Marmol bashing. The Cubs aren't supposed to be any good until 2015...2016. Remember?

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    I personally think Carlos needs to lose a few pounds. It seems like it is affecting his mechanics and causing his slider to be less effective. When other teams see this lack of commitment, they are not going to be interested in him. The DFA is the only route to take at this point.

  • Looks like Rodriguez may be taking the place of Marmol as the talented, but command-less RP. I have always thought Marmol was a better set-up man, and he seems to thrive when pressure is the least. Time to cut bait and direct our fury at Rodriquez. lol

  • If people were thinking clearly (no emotions), they would realize that having Marmol blow these games in the 9th inning is the perfect outcome for the Cubs. Marmol is long past salvaging any trade value for, I don't think a contending team would take him now even for free.

    If we can showcase our trade chips having positive outcomes, and let our young players gain Major League experience, while STILL losing and gaining everything that goes along with it (draft position, draft pool, international pool, etc.) then that is the best possible outcome for the Cubs long term plans.

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