Results tagged ‘ Carlos Marmol ’
Carlos Marmol could only laugh at an Internet report Wednesday in which someone overheard the Cubs pitcher saying he wanted out of Chicago and a fresh start.
“I don’t know who that guy is and why he tweeted that,” Marmol said of the alleged conversation, which was reported to have happened in the lobby of his apartment building.
Marmol did meet with his agent, Paul Kinzer, on Wednesday but denied they were talking about finding a way to get the pitcher out of Chicago. Marmol lost his job as the Cubs closer after the first week of the season.
“I’m not going nowhere,” Marmol said. “I’m very happy here. I can’t wait until they do something so I can stay here. I always talk about how I love Chicago, I love being here, I love my teammates, I love everybody here.”
It would be understandable if Marmol was upset considering his role has changed.
“I’m ready in the first inning,” Marmol said. “I always put that in my mind. It’s not easy [to not be the closer] but I can handle it. I’ll pitch whenever.”
Is he bothered by the false report?
“That didn’t come out of my mouth,” Marmol said. “I feel good here. I’m here, and I’m not going nowhere.”
– Carrie Muskat
As we celebrate the anniversary of the last cycle by a Cubs batter (Mark Grace, May 9, 1993, vs. the Padres), it’s time for a Cubs Inbox. Have a question? Send it to: CubsInbox@gmail.com. Here goes.
Q: Who leads Major League Baseball in blown saves since 2008 — individual and by team — and where do the Cubs and Carlos Marmol rank? I know it’s not a friendly stat but I am curious. — Steve T., Phoenix, AZ
A: Here you go:
Most blown saves: 2008-13
1. Heath Bell, Jonathan Broxton, Chad Qualls, 30 each
4. Kevin Gregg, 29
5. J.J. Putz, 27
6. Carlos Marmol, 26
7. Juan Carlos Oviedo, 24
8. Rafael Betancourt, Tyler Clippard and Jonathan Papelbon, 23 each
12. Jon Rauch and Fernando Rodney, 22 each
Most blown saves, teams 2008-2013
1. Brewers, 123 blown saves
2. Nationals, 121
3. Orioles, 119
4. Marlins, 117
5. Rockies and Mets, 113
7. Mariners, 112
8. Angels, 111
9. Cubs and Cardinals, 110
This season, the Diamondbacks have two pitchers who lead MLB in blown saves: J.J. Putz (4) and David Hernandez (3). The Cubs’ Shawn Camp and Carlos Marmol both have two blown saves. Here are the individual leaders since ’08:
2012: John Axford, Brewers, 9 blown saves (Marmol 3)
2011: Marmol, 10 (tied with Angels’ Jordan Walden, 10)
2010: Tyler Clippard, Nationals, 10 (Marmol 5)
2009: Brad Lidge, Phillies, 11 (Marmol 4)
2008: Manuel Corpas, Rockies, and Kevin Gregg, Marlins, 9 each (Marmol 2)
2012: Brewers, 29 blown saves (Cubs 21 blown saves)
2011: Nationals, 27 blown saves (Cubs 24)
2010: Orioles, 27 blown saves (Cubs 14)
2009: Mariners, 28 blown saves (Cubs 18)
2008: Mariners, 31 blown saves (Cubs 24)
Q: Carlos Marmol had all spring to get it together. I say, release him, and bring up Chris Rusin. What say you? — Louis M., San Marcos, CA
A: Marmol went through the same rough start last year. The difference this season is that Dale Sveum acted sooner. Since the May 4 game against the Reds, Marmol has made two appearances, given up two hits and walked one over 2 1/3 innings, and has not allowed a run. It seems he needs to hit rock bottom. Last season, Marmol was able to get back on track after the All-Star break, posting a 1.52 ERA in 30 games, and going 12-for-13 in save situations. Marmol has to realize he’s not unhittable.
“He thinks that guys are going to swing at every pitch out of his hand, and he tries to make every pitch a two-strike pitch and that’s part of the problem,” pitching coach Chris Bosio said of the right-hander. “He tries to bury the pitch and overthrow the pitch. He needs to back off. A lot of times, doing too much can be a deterrent. You’re not relaxed, you’re not getting the spin on the ball, you’re not working over the top of the ball, you’re working under the ball. Get him to relax and get him to where he was the second half of last year. That’s where we all want him to be and that’s where he wants to be.”
This is the last year of Marmol’s three-year contract, and he is being paid $9.8 million. It’s too early in the year to just dump him. He’s one of the seven pitchers in the Cubs’ bullpen, and Bosio and Sveum have to figure out a way for him to contribute.
As for Rusin, I’d keep him at Triple-A Iowa and let him develop as a starter. He has a bright future.
Q: I’m wondering why Scott Hairston is not being considered an every day outfielder after hitting 20 home runs last year? How many at-bats is he projected to get this year? — Anthon S., Seattle
A: I can’t give you a number for how many at-bats Hairston will get this year but do know he hasn’t done enough to warrant every day status. Hairston batted .172 (10-for-58) this spring, and he’s batting .132 (5-for-38) so far. Plus, he’s been used in a platoon against left-handed pitchers, and is 3-for-30 and all three hits have been home runs.
Q: After this year, what will happen to Fitch Park and HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa? Do the Cubs own either facility? Would any other Major League team be interested in coming in and rehabbing the facilities? — Don W., Simpsonville, SC
A: The Athletics will be moving into HoHoKam and Fitch after signing a 20-year lease with the city. However, there won’t be spring games scheduled there for 2014. The A’s have plans to do some remodeling at HoHoKam, including widening the seats, installing a video scoreboard and updating the clubhouse. The Cubs have to remove all of their stuff from the two facilities at the end of this year.
Q: I just wanted to say, three years ago, I got a 4×4 Cubs alternate jersey logo tattooed over my heart. I cannot wait to put “World Champions” over it when we win it all. — Chuck L., Janesville, WI
A: I’m sure the Cubs appreciate the support but I think I would’ve gone with “Mom” instead.
The Cubs are no longer going with a closer by committee. Kevin Gregg has won the job. Gregg is 5-for-5 in save situations since he joined the Cubs April 15. The right-hander was in the Dodgers’ Spring Training camp, then released on April 3. He signed with the Cubs on April 14.
“The problems we had, it was a great, great pickup and he’s ran with it, and done a heck of a job,” Dale Sveum said of Gregg, who has replaced Carlos Marmol, who was replaced by Kyuji Fujikawa. “[Gregg] is a veteran guy who doesn’t panic. He’s been in those situations before. Those last three outs aren’t made for everybody. He throws strikes and has some life on his fastball. He can work both sides of the plate, that’s the good thing about it.”
Marmol began the season as the Cubs closer but was removed after the first week of games. Fujikawa took over, but then went on the disabled list April 13 with a strained right forearm. Fujikawa was to make his second Minor League rehab outing on Wednesday and rejoin the Cubs in Washington this weekend.
So, is Gregg the Cubs’ closer?
“He seems to be,” Sveum said. “Gregg’s our closer. That’s pretty much the way it is right now. He’s obviously earned it and there’s a bigger sample out there now to know that.”
– Carrie Muskat
Carlos Marmol met with Dale Sveum before Sunday’s game, and asked the Cubs manager for another chance to pitch as soon as possible. Marmol got his wish, and delivered on Sunday. Marmol retired the side in order in the sixth for the first time since April 18. He’d had six rough outings in a row, including Saturday when he walked two and hit a batter.
“I’m glad he gave me the ball,” Marmol said of Sveum. “It didn’t matter what inning. I told him I want to pitch, no matter what. He gave me the ball. He trusts me and I went out there and had a good inning today.”
On Saturday, Marmol threw 14 pitches, four for strikes. The ratio was better Sunday as he threw 12 pitches, seven for strikes.
“I threw a lot of strikes today and my slider was a little better and hopefully I can keep getting three outs — one, two, three,” Marmol said.
– Carrie Muskat
The only way Carlos Marmol will get back on track is to keep pitching, and that’s the Cubs’ plan. Marmol struggled on Saturday, walking two and hitting another batter, and was the losing pitcher in a 6-4 loss to the Reds. The right-hander, who lost his job as the Cubs closer after the first week of the season, now has walked 12 and hit three batters over 11 2/3 innings as well as serving up 11 hits. His ERA is an ugly 6.17.
“I think the biggest thing with Carlos is concentration from pitch to pitch,” Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio said Sunday. “When Carlos gets in trouble, along with the rest of the guys, is when they get going too fast and [Saturday] was a classic case of that. You’ve just got to slow it down, visualize the pitch and execute the pitch. He’s certainly capable of doing that.”
Marmol struggled at the start of last season, and lost his job as closer then. But he was able to rebound and posted a 1.52 ERA in 30 games after the All-Star break.
“He thinks that guys are going to swing at every pitch out of his hand, and he tries to make every pitch a two-strike pitch and that’s part of the problem,” Bosio said of the right-hander. “He tries to bury the pitch and overthrow the pitch. He needs to back off. A lot of times, doing too much can be a deterrent. You’re not relaxed, you’re not getting the spin on the ball, you’re not working over the top of the ball, you’re working under the ball. Get him to relax and get him to where he was the second half of last year. That’s where we all want him to be and that’s where he wants to be.”
Bosio and Marmol reached an agreement in the second half last season that the catcher would call all the pitches. If Marmol shook them off, he had to pay the pitching coach a case of wine. Marmol only shook off once in the second half. That same rule applies this year but that’s not the problem; it’s executing the pitches.
“I think it’s his tempo and concentration for Carlos,” Bosio said. “Those are two huge things for him. I just think that at times he tries too hard. He grips the ball too hard and that’s when we see those pitches that aren’t executed.”
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said they’ll continue to use Marmol.
“He’s one of the seven guys [in the 'pen] and he’s got to pitch and we’ll get him back out there in some fashion,” Sveum said. “You can’t hide people. They have to pitch.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs are convinced Carlos Marmol can still get batters out, but on Saturday, he couldn’t throw a strike. Marmol entered in the eighth with a two-run lead and failed to retire a batter, walking two and hitting another, to help the Reds rally for four runs and post a 6-4 victory over the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run home runs and Jeff Samardzija was in line for his first win since Opening Day until the fateful eighth.
Chicago led 4-2 when Marmol took over, making his 453rd appearance, a franchise record, passing Lee Smith. But he walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, then walked Joey Votto. Dale Sveum left Marmol in, hoping he could get Brandon Phillips to ground into a double play. Instead, Marmol hit Brandon Phillips with a pitch to load the bases. Hector Rondon entered, and Jay Bruce hit a RBI single, Todd Frazier followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4. Rondon intentionally walked Xavier Paul, and unintentionally walked pinch-hitter Joel Hannahan to force in the go-ahead run. Another run scored on pinch-hitter Devin Mesoraco’s sacrifice fly.
Marmol is the problem, though. In 14 appearances, he has given up 11 hits, walked 12 and hit three batters over 11 2/3 innings. He lost his job as the closer after the first week of the season, and now has a 6.17 ERA.
“I can’t throw strikes,” Marmol said. “I’m giving people a chance to score.”
“He’s not executing,” Sveum said. “He’s not throwing the ball over the plate. It doesn’t matter what pitch is called.”
The Cubs are trying to make it work for the right-hander, who lost his job as the closer last season yet won it back and finished strong. He hasn’t been able to bounce back this year.
“He’ll be pitching in roles with the game on the line, early in the game, or whatever,” Sveum said. “One way or the other, he’s got to get fixed. … I don’t even know if he threw a strike today. There were a couple swings but I don’t know if they were strikes. One way or the other, we have to get him fixed because he’s got to pitch.”
Marmol threw 14 pitches Saturday, only four were strikes, and only one was a called strike. He said he isn’t lacking confidence and that he’s healthy. He is frustrated.
“I have to go out there tomorrow and throw strikes and get people out,” Marmol said. “That’s all you can do.”
Unfortunately for the Cubs, this isn’t the first time they’ve blown a lead in the late innings. This was the 25th game out of the Cubs’ 30 to be decided by three runs or less, and Chicago now is 9-16 in those games. Twelve of those losses have been by two runs or less.
“Probably half of our losses have been these kind of losses,” Sveum said. “That’s what’s frustrating. If we could turn the switch around, we’d have eight more wins. It’s not like we’re going through a game and losing 6-2 and it’s a normal game. Whether it’s errors or walking people like today or whatever it might be, there aren’t a lot of clean games going on in the first 30 games.”
They may be frustrated but they’re not down.
“Maybe on some other teams but this team is pretty resilient,” Jeff Samardzija said. “We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and turn these ‘L’s’ into ‘W’s.’”
– Carrie Muskat
* Travis Wood now has opened the season with six quality starts. In 17 quality starts this year, Cubs pitchers have a 2.08 ERA and only six wins. Only four NL teams have more quality starts than the Cubs.
* Scott Hairston hit a two-run home run. Three of his four hits this season have been home runs, and all three have come off left-handed pitchers.
* Carlos Marmol has made 10 straight scoreless appearances dating to April 8 against Milwaukee. However, in his last five appearances, Marmol has either given up a hit, a walk, or hit a batter.
* With Thursday’s 4-2 loss, 23 of the Cubs’ 28 games have been decided by three runs or less, and the team is 9-14 in those games. More than half of the 17 losses (10) have been by two runs or less.
– Carrie Muskat
* With Sunday’s 6-4 loss to the Marlins, all of 24 of the Cubs’ games this season have been decided by four runs or less, a franchise record. The previous club record of 21 games to start a season with all contests decided by four runs or less took place 105 years ago in 1908.
The 24 game stretch is tied with the 1918 Cardinals for second longest in baseball. According to Elias, the only team to open the season with a longer streak was the 1914 Tigers (33 games decided by four runs or less).
* The Cubs have had three pitchers record multiple saves thus far this season: Kevin Gregg (three), Kyuji Fujikawa (two) and Carlos Marmol (two). In 45 Aprils since the save became an official MLB statistic in 1969, this is the first time the Cubs have had three pitchers with multiple saves in the season’s first calendar month.
* Anthony Rizzo has now tallied 19 RBI in April, second most by a Cubs left-handed hitter. He passed Rick Monday, who drove in 18 in April 1976. Billy Williams drove in 25 runs in April 1970.
* On Monday, the Cubs start a 10-day, 10-game homestand against the Padres (four games), the Reds (three games), the Rangers (one make-up game, May 6) and the Cardinals (two games). The Cubs lost Sunday to end their 10-game road trip with a 4-6 record. So far this season, the Cubs are 5-2 against clubs that finished below .500 last season and 4-13 (.235) against winning clubs from last year.
Dale Sveum will still rely on the best matchup in determining his closer. On Tuesday, Kevin Gregg picked up the save, and is one of the options. So is Carlos Marmol, who lost the job after the first week of the season.
“I didn’t say [Marmol] would not be the closer,” Sveum said Wednesday. “I said it would come down to matchups.”
Gregg’s save was his first since 2011.
“Today was an awesome feeling,” Gregg said after Tuesday’s game. “I really enjoy that. That’s a lot of weight on your shoulders when you’re out there making pitches in that situation. I love that pressure, I love what comes with it, of what comes from being able to carry home a victory for the team.”
* Kyuji Fujikawa, on the disabled list with a strained right forearm, is throwing from 135 feet on flat ground, and has yet to throw a bullpen session. He is doing his rehab in Chicago.
* Ian Stewart was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Tuesday in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa. Stewart is coming back from a strained left quad, suffered Feb. 21 in an intrasquad game. In seven games, he’s 2-for-24 with a double and three RBIs.
* Alfonso Soriano singled and stole two bases in the second inning on Tuesday night, but after swiping third, the Cubs veteran took a brief time out.
“I was fine,” Soriano said Wednesday. “I steal second and third on two pitches, and at age 37, I think I need a little time. Thank God, I’m feeling good. At 37, I needed extra time. I took my extra time to breathe. I can’t remember the last time I had two sprints like that.”
The last time was August 2008. Soriano stole two bases in one inning twice that month, the last one on Aug. 25 that year against the Pirates. Don’t expect him to be putting together another 40-stolen base season, though.
“I feel good in my legs,” Soriano said. “If I have a chance to steal the base, I’m going to try to do it to make the game easier for my teammates and try to score some runs. We have a very good team. I want to try to take what they give me. If they give me a stolen base, I’ll take a stolen base.”
– Carrie Muskat
When Carlos Marmol was introduced at the Cubs home opener on Monday, he was booed by the crowd of 40,083. He was booed again when he entered the game in the eighth and served up a double to Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun on a first-pitch fastball.
“I’m not the first one, [I won't be] the last one,” Marmol said. “I’m fine. I’m trying to do my job and trying to get people out. That’s what I need to do.”
After Braun’s double, Marmol did strike out Rickie Weeks, walked Jonathan Lucroy, which prompted more boos, and struck out Alex Gonzalez and got Martin Maldonado to ground out and end the inning.
“I felt good getting those last people out,” Marmol said. “It’s been tough for me to get three outs and put a zero on the board and I did it.”
Dale Sveum said it was tough to hear the fans razz Marmol.
“You’re with these guys every day and you know who they are behind the scenes and the adversity they have to go through,” Sveum said. “On Opening Day, to get booed like that isn’t fun for anybody. Bringing him in the game, he had to [hear] it twice in one day. It’s unfortunate but that stuff happens. It’s tough for all of us in that clubhouse to see it.”
– Carrie Muskat