We’ve all said it time and time again, but Carlos Marmol needs to go. Now.
The Chicago Cubs’ closer struggled during the 2/3 of an inning on Thursday against the Chicago White Sox. Marmol gave up a run after only 25 pitches; he didn’t make it out of the inning after throwing a wild pitch and walking two batters.
This isn’t the way anyone wants to see the Cubs play with only three weeks left until Opening Day.
How many chances will the Cubs give Marmol? How many games will they allow him to put on the line for the rest of the team? How much longer will the fans tolerate him taking the mound?
Marmol has held the closer position for the Cubs for roughly four years and each time he steps on the mound to close out a game, uncertainty rises. Can he keep control and win the game? It’s about a 50/50 shot whether he can pitch a successful 9th inning. When he can save the game, it’s a celebration. When he can’t, it can get ugly.
Because Marmol is such a toss up when he pitches, the Cubs have no reason to hang on to him any longer. Recently acquired relief pitcher Kyuji Fukijawa was a closing pitcher with his previous team in Japan and could easily fill Marmol’s spot on the roster. The Japanese pitcher saved 220 games for his last team over the course of 12 years. Marmol…well, he led the National League for blown saves in 2011.
Why keep Marmol around?
While he’s in the final year of his contract, the Cubs seem hopeful to be shopping their closer around a bit. Marmol insists he’s not focused on trade rumors, but it sounds very likely that the Cubs may be willing to pay him the rest of his salary just to have another team take him. A shaky relief pitcher that has already been paid for–who wouldn’t want that?
Well, it’s worth a shot anyway. The longer the Cubs keep Marmol, the more games they should expect to lose.