Well, this was a long time coming. The Chicago Cubs have designated relief pitcher Carlos Marmol for assignment. Marmol has had an awful 2013 season in which he has gone 2-4 with a 5.86 ERA in 31 appearances. His 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings is solid, but his 6.8 BB/9 and 1.95 HR/9 are terrible, and it was obvious that the Cubs needed to do something. Marmol is immediately removed from both the active and 40-man roster, and the Cubs have ten days to trade, release or waive the once dominant relief pitcher. I highly doubt that there will be any MLB teams willing to trade for Marmol, so the Cubs will end up sending him through waivers.
Marmol started the season as the Cubs’ closer after a successful 2012 season in which he had a 3.42 ERA and 20 saves. He was struggling with walks as usual, but he was still striking people out and not giving up many hits. This season was different. The walks were not as concerning for Marmol as was the fact that he was giving up a ton of hard-hit balls. His stuff is simply not as good as it used to be, and I wonder if he will even get signed by a new team.
The Cubs also released Ian Stewart today. Stewart has had an interesting season. He was supposed to be the starting third baseman for the Cubs, but he was held back due to a quad injury. With the emergence of Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom, Stewart has been stuck in Triple-A Iowa where he is hitting .186. Stewart was suspended by the team for some comments he made on Twitter suggesting that he was being held in the minor leagues unfairly.
It is nice to see the Cubs move on from both of these players. Marmol is obviously not the pitcher he used to be. The guy was overworked when he was younger and now is a shell of himself. Stewart just never worked out for the Cubs; I think he may have something left in the tank and hope he catches on somewhere else. All in all, it is nice to see the organization moving on and heading in another direction.