Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, Cub fans of all ages. Today is the day you have been waiting years for. Because the Cubs needed a spot on their roster for Brian Bogusevic, they were left with the decision to remove a pitcher from their roster. As we mentioned yesterday, there were limited options to choose from, and today the choice was made. That’s right, today the Chicago Cubs have wished Carlos Marmol the best in all his future endeavors today. Also, the Cubs released Ian Stewart, which will probably not elicit many tears from fans.
Bogusevic called up from Iowa takes Marmol spot.
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) June 25, 2013
Marmol DFA. Stewart released.
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) June 25, 2013
No, this is not a dream. There is no need to pinch yourself to make sure that this is really happening. The Cubs have decided that they can no longer trust that Marmol can be used in key situations in a game. With that being the case, there was no longer a place for him on the roster.
The last straw came Sunday when Marmol came in trying to preserve a three run lead in the game with the New York Mets. A win, would have completed the three game sweep, and would have given the Cubs a four game winning streak. But you know what happened. You know perfectly well what has happened almost every time this season that Marmol has entered the game as the closer.
Even though Marmol is gone, and Cub fans will not miss him one bit, I would be doing you a disservice we failed to mention that he was not always this bad. While fans usually only remember the last thing they see in terms of a player, and tend to forget about the past, all they will remember is how when Marmol took the mound, Cub fans would grab another drink.
But how can we forget his first four years on the team. There were few pitchers in baseball that could freeze hitters at the plate the way he could. Fans all across baseball would marvel at how he would make some of the best hitters in the game look foolish at the plate. While he was wild, he was effectively wild and could usually be found near the top of the list of strike outs per nine innings. He was always in the top 20 of all pitchers, qualifiers as well as non qualifiers.
There is no doubt that his best season was in 2010. He was nothing short of amazing that year. Striking out nearly 16 men per nine innings that year, he was nothing short of phenomenal. While watching him that season was amazing, what happened because of that great year was nothing short of disaster.
Former General Manager Jim Hendry, trying to save the club money, signed Marmol to a very expensive contract which would cover his costs for the next three years. If Marmol had been able to continue to improve as he had done year in and year out, that contract would have been a steal. Instead, the contract just proved that you should never sign relief pitchers long term.
There are very few relievers who can sustain success year after year, usually they are hit or miss. Just look at Shawn Camp. Last year he was amazing, and this year he is one of the worst in baseball.
Marmol’s problems have always been his inability to avoid the walks or the hit batsmen. Year after year those statistics would pile up. He used to be able to get out of those jams because no one could hit him. Double play grounders or strike outs always came after walks and hit batsmen. But the past three years, Marmol has taken giant steps back. He does not get good movement on his pitches, and the batters just swing away.
What has led to his down fall, could very well be over use. Lou Piniella and Mike Quade used him every chance they could because he was automatic. The Cubs would get into a jam, throw Marmol out there, and everything is taken care of. No worries. At least, until 2011.
Perhaps his problems are that he is not a real pitcher. A converted catcher, I am surprised that he lasted as long as he did.
Or maybe he is just a mental midget and cannot handle the pressure.
Whatever the issue with Marmol is, that issue is not the Cubs problem anymore. He is gone, never to appear in another Cubs game as long as you live. If you wish to throw a party at his departure, I will not stand in your way.
Just remember, as much as you despise him for being a bad pitcher, remember that he is a person. He is a person who likely knows his career is just about over. Someone who cares much more about his performances than you ever will.
I just hope the Cardinals do not sign him to a minor league deal. Those guys know pitching. They know how to fix pitchers. If they pick him up, and find some way to fix whatever issues he has, I just know there will be some fans who celebrated his departure that will be cursing the organization for letting him go.
Goodbye Marmol, good luck in your next stop.