4/7 Fujikawa replaces Marmol as closer

Carlos Marmol is no longer the Cubs closer, and Kyuji Fujikawa is taking over the job. Cubs manager Dale Sveum met Sunday with both pitchers to give them the news. The Cubs had a 5-1 lead Saturday against the Braves but lost, 6-5, when Marmol served up game-tying and game-winning home runs in the ninth to B.J. Upton and Justin Upton, respectively.

Is there a chance Marmol could reclaim the job this year?

“Yeah, there’s a chance,” Sveum said. “Hopefully, Fujikawa takes it and runs with it and does a great job and we don’t have to deal with it. Marmol’s going to pitch in less stressful situations and get his confidence back. You still have seven guys in the bullpen, so he’s obviously going to pitch and end up pitching quite a bit in situations.”

Marmol wasn’t going to give up on getting the job back.

“I’m not going to put my head down,” he said. “Everybody knows what I need to work on, locate my pitches. That’s the thing I need to do.”

The Cubs did have in-house options such as Shawn Camp and James Russell. Fujikawa signed with the Cubs after being the closer in Hanshin for 12 seasons. Asked if he’d ever lost his job there, Fujikawa said, “No.”

“That’s one reason we signed him, in case something like this happened,” Sveum said. “He’s comfortable in getting the last three outs. It’s just kind of the logical thing to do instead of thinking you’re going to do it by committee or anything like that.”

– Carrie Muskat

11 Comments

You left out the part where Kyuji gave up 3 runs. Hopefully this works out.

Good thought! I was not impressed with Fuji last night but have seen him work very well before last night. Was thinking Russell could be a good closer.

As long as Fuji doesn’t pitch like the Fuji from McHale’s Navy we shoud be fine.

Marmoil says he needs to work on his locationof pitches. WHAT THE H— WAS OFF SEASON FOR

Agreed. Spring Training should be the time to address all these issues. The players usually know their weaknesses and work on them in Mesa. The really dedicated players work on their body building, batting, etc. every single day during the winter.

Marmol is on to something….he DOES need to work on the location of his pitches. How about he locates them in another ORGANIZATION?!?

Hope Fuji does it ,we do have Russell,whos dad Jeff was pretty good

And the most obvious Cub move to be made this year happens a week into the season… It was just a matter of time. Hoping he would pitch well enough to get something back in a trade was a good idea by the Cubs, but wasn’t likely. I’m glad they didn’t wait long.

Exactly, Sveum deserves credit for eating crow regading his recent statement that Marmol is the closer then within days he removes him as closers. At least he did it.

I think that both naming Marmol closer and removing him were either made by the Front Office or made by Sveum with a lot of input. I’ll bet if Sveum’s hands were completely untied, Marmol would not have been the closer at all. Theo and Jed were hoping for trade value and had a Plan B ready for either Marmol’s success (trade) or failure. Regardless, I think we’re all happy with the result.

RD, I agree 100%. Posted the same thing in different words on another thread.

Joey, now we can all breath a little easier. lol

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