What To Do About Carlos Marmol and Other Cubs News Bits

Cubs’ fans, for the most part, have been conditioned to look at the negative before the positive. So a majority of the focus on Tuesday was how bad Carlos Marmol was on Opening Day. Not the outstanding performance from Jeff Samardzija or the solid efforts turned in by Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo at the plate and in the field. Plus, there was little or no mention of Nate Schierholtz reaching base in all four plate appearances.

Carlos Marmol has struggled with his command for the last two seasons. Marmol has not been the same pitcher he was since 2010 and the Cubs are caught between a rock and a no trade clause.

On one hand there is a manger who is trying to win ballgames. On the other, there is a front office that is trying to trade a closer while attempting to maximize their return for a pitcher with little to no value. Dale Sveum has to publicly say that Carlos Marmol is the Cubs’ closer while hoping he can throw enough strikes that the front office can find a team willing to take him for the season while the Cubs pay the freight.

Sveum doesn’t sound like he is going to let games slip away like they did early on last season. Monday he had a fully rested bullpen and a starter that went eight innings that helped give him options after Marmol. So as Sveum tries to put his team in the best position to win the game, how he uses his pen prior to the ninth inning will be interesting to monitor as they try to get Carlos Marmol on track.

News Bits

The Cubs know the importance of starting the year strong according to a report from Cubs.com.


The Sun-Times reported Edwin Jackson is a sign of the Cubs’ times.

According to the Sun-Times, if the Cubs beat the Pirates on Wednesday night it would mark the first time the team has been two games above .500 under the Ricketts family ownership. The Cubs have been one game over .500 three times since the family bought the team.

Bruce Miles wondered how Carlos Zambrano would have handled the first inning of Monday’s game.

Dale Sveum is going to manage the Cubs his way according to Comcast SportsNet. Sveum does not care about his image or second-guessing and according to James Russell, Sveum stays pretty flat. He does not get too high and he does not get too low.

The Tribune reported “most believe” Carlos Marmol will be gone by the end of July

The Cubs signed OF Ryan Sweeney to a minor league contract on Tuesday. Sweeney will report to Triple-A Iowa this weekend.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

    Just handle Marmol like the first game, keep him on a short leash and hope he pitches well enough to trade. The Cubs should have made the Haren deal.

    • Scott

      You’re absolutely right about the Haren deal, because there is zero chance in hell they can trade this guy now. No team is that desperate or stupid. Marmol is done. Finished. Think about it. A converted catcher. Does not have the natural ability or instincts of a pitcher. He couldn’t hit, but had a cannon for an arm, so they teach him to throw a slider and make him a pitcher. For a while, you can survive like that in the majors, but eventually it catches up to you. Then, you have to adapt. He can’t. He has no idea how. Not a pitcher! Double the problem by giving him the most mentally straining job on the staff…closing close games. May as well cut your loses now and release him. That is exactly what other teams are waiting for. It’s inevitable. This is why the Hayden Simpson cut was so baffling. You can take a washed up minor league catcher whose never pitched before and make him a major league closer but you give up on a number 1 draft pick after 1and a half injury filled seasons?

      • cubbiemacg

        Hayden Simpson couldn’t get his fastball to avg above 82mph

    • 07GreyDigger

      Yes they should. But I suppose we all could look stupid if Haren spends time on the DL with back problems.

    • DWalker

      It was probably an 80%+ chance the FO was going to get hammered either way on that deal. Keep marmol he implodes and everyone complains. take Haren and he’s on the DL (and you know there had to be MAJOR concerns since they killed the deal, considering the new mantra is medicine ball it had to be pretty serious to think they couldn’t even make the attempt, and yeah, the FO knew exactly what was likely to happen to Marmol) and everyone complains.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

        True, but even if that trade had been made and Haren ended up on the Cubs’ DL, the Cubs would have been rid of Marmol and the soap opera and nobody would be wishing the Cubs still had Marmol.

  • Tony_Hall

    We will get the most out of Marmol in a trade, if we pay his salary AND he is getting batters out. No team in contention is going to want him as their closer and give up the prospects we would want back. A team is going to want him in the 7th or 8th inning doing set-up work. For a team to give up the prospects we would want, they just need to know he is throwing strikes (at least a few every now and then) and can handle set-up duty.

    Move Fujikawa to the closer role, use Marmol with Camp and Russell and try to rebuild his value that way.

    • cc002600

      Let’s face facts. It really doesn’t matter a whole lot how he does. No team is going to give up that much for him. If you get a mid level prospect for him we should do cartwheels. So in the end, it won’t mean a thing. Mid level prospects are a dime a dozen.

      It’s similar to Soriano. He could hit 50 HR’s this year, and you’re never going to get that much for him. The guy is 38 years old, nobody is going to give up a good prospect for him on that reason alone.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        If a team needs a power hitter to propel them in the postseason we could absolutely get a good prospect for Soriano. If he hits as he did last year he could be the difference for a contender…

        • Bredstik

          Then why weren’t we able to get one for him LAST season?

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Becuae he overruled a trade to San Francisco. Hopefully this yet they’ve worked something out to include more teams. He’s also one year closer to his contract being up.

  • tonydann1984

    Its only been one game and people are so down and negative . Marmol is not the best closer in baseball but we need to build his trade value. Keep him as the closer and on a short leash !!

  • redlarczykg

    Another positive note was Welington Castillo going deep twice to the opposite field. The Cubs look like they will get a lot of production from their catching crew.

  • texcubnut

    Tony is right. Put Marmol back in a setup role without the pressure of closing ( mentally/emotionally, he just can’t seem to handle the role) and put him back where he was the most productive, as a set-up man. If Sveum is going to manage ‘his way’ then he should put Kyuji in the closer role to give the Cubs the best chance to win, and I still believe you can maximize Marmol’s value in a trade as long as he’s productive.

  • texcubnut

    I love that it was Marwin Gonzalez that broke up Yu Darvish’s perfect game. Watched the entire game and Darvish was unhittable except for Gonzalez with 2 outs in the ninth inning. (Career .230 hitter)

  • John G

    Marmol obviously cannot pitch effectively under pressure. By definition he is not a closer. I say use him only in situations where the starter is getting shelled. (I’m sure he’d get a lot of work this year.) No pressure and he’ll pitch better. His value goes up as a result. Then dump him in July. QJ should be the closer.

  • http://twitter.com/changcubsbulls Brian

    cubs could be this years surprise team go cubs

  • John_CC

    When Marmol is traded, in all likelihood it will not be to a team looking for a closer. He is best suited as a late inning set-up guy. I just do not see how keeping him in the 9th inning and watching him struggle there will create any value whatsoever. I think he should be moved down the bullpen, let him pitch the 6th and 7th inning and hopefully gain some confidence. It’s the only way he will ever be worth even a PTNL.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Agreed…

  • daverj

    I’d leave Marmol in at closer for now. I don’t have time to look up the stats now, but as I recall he was very effective in August and September last year. There’s a good chance Marmol will not have any trade value, but the only way to know for sure is to stick with him.

  • Roland Bowman

    From the middle of July on last year Marmol performed well. However he did start walking people again in September. I think they should continue to use him as a closer with a short lease if he gets into trouble. If Marmol has another performance like Monday’s in his next few outings then I hope they use him as a reliever in the 6th or 7th inning from then on. He did not do well last year as a set up guy. He was put back as a closer because they had no one else, not because of his performance.

  • Ray Ray

    Damn. Indians claimed Robert Whitenack. I thought Raley should have been the one to try and pass through.