Results tagged ‘ Carlos Marmol ’
Dale Sveum says he feels more comfortable heading into his second season as the Cubs manager. Coming off a 101 loss season, he’s got high expectations.
“The one thing you hate doing is saying, ‘[finishin] .500 will be good,’ because it’s not good,” Sveum said Wednesday. “It’s not 101 losses, but .500 isn’t getting you to the playoffs. Just getting in the playoffs is satisfactory. … In a perfect world, if [Matt] Garza and [Scott] Baker are ready to go Opening Day, its not a bad staff to have [Jeff] Samardzija, Garza and [Edwin] Jackson at the top and the other guys in the four, five spots. Fujikawa would come in the eight inning, Marmol in the ninth, there’s so many things that are so much better going into this season than last year. [Finishing] .500 is, like I said, still not acceptable.”
Garza and Baker will both be ready to go in Spring Training but Sveum said the team may take a cautious approach with them to ease them into the regular season. Garza is coming off an elbow injury and Baker is coming back from Tommy John surgery.
The Cubs in the playoffs in 2013? That might be hard for some fans to consider but Sveum thinks they have enough firepower if Ian Stewart is healthy, and Nate Schierholtz produces.
“You can’t fall victim to, ‘Yeah, we are obviously in a transition in the organization, and we’re trying to get healthy and do all this,’ but don’t fall into the category that we can’t win right now,” Sveum said. “Baseball is a funny thing. Just last year, we close out some games in April and the start of the season is a lot different and you never know what happens after that. You might not have the exact same bullets as the guy actross the street, but all you need are guys to play up to their capabilities and have a starting staff and close out games, and you win a lot of games.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs officially introduced new reliever Kyuji Fujikawa on Friday at Wrigley Field. The Japanese right-hander, who played for the Hanshin Tigers, agreed to a two-year, $9.5 million contract. The deal includes a signing bonus of $1 million and $4 million in salaries in 2013 and ’14. There also is a vesting option valued at $5.5 million or $6 million, to be determined by games finished.
He visited Chicago and Wrigley Field a few weeks ago, and was sold on the city and the ballpark then.
“From that day on, in my head, it was ‘Cubs, Cubs, Cubs,’ and that’s how everything came through,” Fujikawa said.
The right-hander, who totaled 220 saves in 12 seasons with Hanshin, will be used to set-up closer Carlos Marmol, not take his place.
“Our goal is to have the best bullpen possible,” GM Jed Hoyer said. “Kyuji certainly adds to that. He’s had a great career. If you look at his career, he was a dominant set-up guy first and a dominant closer. We know he can do both roles. We look at it as adding a great arm and we don’t worry about the role.”
Fujikawa wasn’t too concerned when he would be pitching.
“[He wanted] a chance to have a meaningful role and do his job,” Theo Epstein said of Fujikawa. “That’s all he said. He said, ‘My job is not closer or set-up guy, my job is to help the team win and do what the manager asks of me’ and that’s the only time it came up in the discussion.”
There’s a reason he picked No. 11.
“I was No. 22 with the Hanshin Tigers,” Fujikawa said, “but to have a better career than No. 22, I went younger with No. 11. I asked for 11 and it was luckily open.”
He may want to feel young but the Cubs are hoping Fujikawa can stabilize the young bullpen. They also really like his stuff.
“The biggest thing was his ability to pitch with his fastball,” Hoyer said. “He’s not a guy who tricks you, he comes right after guys. … Guys who rely too much on trickery can be guys who the league figures out quickly. Our hope is that because he pitches with his fastball, he can pitch to a game plan and establish himself and have a nice run.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have reportedly signed Japanese free agent pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million contract, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Saturday. The Cubs would not confirm or comment on the report except to say nothing is imminent.
Fujikawa, 32, played 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers, totaling 220 saves, and a 1.77 ERA. Last season, he appeared in 47 2/3 innings and compiled a 1.32 ERA. He was sidelined with an adductor strain and has not thrown 70 innings in a single season since 2007.
According to Rosenthal, the right-hander will receive a signing bonus of $1 million and $4 million in salaries in 2013 and ’14. There is a vesting option valued at $5.5 million or $6 million, to be determined by games finished.
On Friday, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer did confirm that he met with Fujikawa about 10 days ago and that the Japanese pitcher toured Wrigley Field. Hoyer said they were “very impressed” by the right-hander but would not comment on a time-table or the negotiations.
The Cubs did re-sign set-up pitcher Shawn Camp but otherwise have not made any additions to the bullpen.
“If we bring in someone who has closing experience, or a number of guys who have closing experience, that’s no knock on Carlos [Marmol],” Hoyer said of the Cubs current closer. “I think every team in baseball wants to have an assortment of guys back there who, if the need arises, can pitch in the ninth inning. Hopefully we can do that.”
The Angels, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Orioles also were believed to be interested in Fujikawa.
Last month, the Cubs were close to completing a deal with the Angels which would’ve sent Marmol to Anaheim for starter Dan Haren. The Cubs pulled that trade off the table because of concerns over Haren’s medical reports.
– Carrie Muskat
The Winter Meetings will be next week in Nashville, and the Cubs still have some holes to fill. Whether they sign free agents or acquire talent via trade, one thing is certain. No one is untouchable.
“We lost 101 games last year,” GM Jed Hoyer said. “I don’t think we’re in position to say we have enough talent, or to say to any one player on the roster he’s untouchable. We certainly have several players who we would have a hard time parting with and it would take a heck of a package to make it happen.
“In general, there shouldn’t be many untouchables in the game and there usually aren’t and I think they certainly shouldn’t be on teams looking to acquire a lot of talent,” he said. “I think the answer is no, but that’s no disrespect to the players we have. We just need to acquire a lot of talent.”
It could be a busy week. The Cubs do want to add more pitching.
“We still look at it as an area of need,” Hoyer said. “We’re actively looking to improve our bullpen and we haven’t been able to address that yet this winter with the exception of bringing back Shawn Camp.”
Plus, because Scott Baker and Arodys Vizcaino, acquired from the Braves, are both coming off Tommy John surgery, and Matt Garza had his season shortened by an elbow injury, the Cubs need depth. They also want to add an outfielder who can play center or right, and need help for the bench.
Hoyer did confirm that Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa was considering the Cubs and did tour Wrigley Field. However, Hoyer would not comment on the negotiations or provide a timetable. He did say they were impressed by the right-hander.
“If we bring in someone who has closing experience, or a number of guys who have closing experience, that’s no knock on Carlos,” Hoyer said. “I think every team in baseball wants to have an assortment of guys back there who if the need arises can pitch in the ninth inning. Hopefully we can do that.”
– Carrie Muskat
Anyone who has watched Carlos Marmol pitch knows it’s rare for him to have a 1-2-3 inning. The same could be said of the reports Friday regarding a possible deal between the Cubs and Angels which would’ve sent Marmol to Anaheim in exchange for Dan Haren — including comments by Marmol himself. However, a Cubs source confirmed to MLB.com late Friday that no deal was made with the Angels.
Here’s a timeline, thanks to MLB Trade Rumors which tracks these things, of a wild and crazy night:
6:50 p.m. CT: ESPN Chicago reported the Cubs have acquired Dan Haren from the Angels in exchange for Carlos Marmol. El Caribe, a Dominican Republic media outlet, first reported the deal, quoting Marmol.
“I like Anaheim,” Marmol told El Caribe. “They have talent, and they’ll give me an opportunity. I’m grateful to Chicago.”
7:56 p.m. CT: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports the deal is not complete and the Angels are talking to other teams.
8:09 p.m. CT: Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports the Angels and Cubs may be waiting on MLB approval because of the money involved.
8:29 p.m. CT: Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports the two sides have not agreed to a trade, although he says the Cubs did ask Marmol if he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to Anaheim.
8:42 p.m. CT: Rosenthal reports the deal will happen if Marmol agrees to the Angels.
9:20 p.m. CT: A Cubs source tells MLB.com the trade is not happening.
9:27 p.m. CT: Rosenthal said Marmol would have approved a deal to the Angels but that the Cubs pulled it off the table.
– Carrie Muskat
Carlos Marmol apparently jumped the gun on being traded. Marmol told a news outlet in the Dominican Republic that he was going to the Angels.
“I like Anaheim,” Marmol told El Caribe. “They have talent and they’ll give me an opportunity. I’m grateful to Chicago.”
There were reports that Marmol was being dealt for Dan Haren, but those reports are false. The Cubs never confirmed the trade.
Marmol, 30, is coming off a season in which he converted 20 of 23 save opportunities, and posted a 3.42 ERA in 61 games.
Haren, 32, had pitched 200 innings until last season when he totaled a career-low 176 2/3 innings. He also was on the disabled list for the first time with back problems.
Marmol was to receive $9.8 million next year, while Haren had a $15.5 million option. The Angels were believed to be willing to pay the $3.5 million buyout in order to get a quality player in return. Haren has said he didn’t want to leave California. Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto had to decide on Haren’s option by 11 p.m. CT.
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol has converted 18 straight saves, and has a 0.52 ERA in those games. It’s the first time he’s converted 18 in a row in his career (he was successful on 17 straight at the end of the 2010 season). Marmol is one of only three pitchers in MLB to be perfect in save opportunities since the beginning of May, joining the Rangers’ Joe Nathan (25-for-25) and the Padres’ Huston Street (18-for-18).
With one more save, Marmol will become the fifth pitcher in Cubs history with three-straight seasons of 20 or more saves, joining Lee Smith (five straight, 1983-87), Bruce Sutter (four straight, 1977-80), Ryan Dempster (three straight, 2005-07) and Randy Myers (three straight, 1993-95). Overall, Marmol has 114 saves with the Cubs, third on the all-time list.
– Carrie Muskat
Carlos Marmol had given up one earned run in the month of August but the National League West leading Giants were able to double that in one inning. Angel Pagan hit a tie-breaking RBI single with one out in the ninth inning to power the Giants to a 7-5 victory over Marmol and the Cubs Sunday, and take the series.
“You’re not going to be perfect all year long,” Marmol said. “A couple walks, a couple base hits. Tomorrow’s a new day. I’ll try to get the save tomorrow. I call it a bad day today.”
With the game tied at 5 in the Giants’ ninth against Marmol (2-3), Xavier Nady walked and was lifted for pinch-runner Gregor Blanco. Marmol then struck out Brandon Belt on three pitches, and Blanco stole second during Brandon Crawford’s at-bat. But Crawford walked, and Pagan smacked a single to center. Marco Scutaro followed with another RBI single. Marmol, who lost the closer’s job earlier this year, had converted his last 16 save opportunities. Sunday was not a save situation.
“Since he’s been back in the closer’s role, he’s been as good as anybody in baseball, if not the best in that stretch,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It’s not going to be perfect all the time, and today didn’t go his way, or our way, too. That’s a first-place team battling, great at-bats, and putting some hits together, a leadoff walk. That’s a championship first-place club.”
– Carrie Muskat
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports Alfonso Soriano has cleared waivers, and is eligible to be traded anywhere, pending his approval. Soriano, 36, has a no-trade clause. He is still owed about $45 million through the end of the 2014 season. There has been speculation the Giants may be interested in Soriano following the news of Melky Cabrera’s 50-game suspension. However, Soriano reportedly told the Cubs he would not accept a trade to the Giants earlier this season. Heyman also reports that Cubs closer Carlos Marmol has cleared waivers.
Soriano said he didn’t think San Francisco was a good fit.
“I saw the news [about Cabrera] — somebody told me,” Soriano said. “I feel sorry for him because he was having an unbelievable year. I don’t know why people take those drugs. They know if they take something, someday they’re going to get them. I don’t know what the Giants want to do. We’ll see.”
The Cubs have not talked to Soriano about any possible deals. What does he think about going to the Giants?
“I don’t think so,” Soriano said. “San Francisco is not good weather to play in. We’ll see what happens. I’ll talk to my family. It’s not my call — I only have 50 percent of the call. It’s my family, too. I’ll talk to them in case [the Cubs] call.”
– Carrie Muskat
* Jeff Samardzija starts Monday night for the Cubs. He’s coming off a loss against the Padres in which he gave up one run on four hits and two walks over seven innings. He struck out six and also broke his bat over his knee. He threw 112 pitches, one shy of his season high, set May 18 against the White Sox. Samardzija has struck out 130 while walking 49. The Cubs are 11-11 in his starts. He has received two or fewer runs of support while on the mound in each of his last six starts.
* Alfonso Soriano has eight RBIs in his last eight games and has stolen a base in three of his last six contests. His 25 doubles are two shy of the 27 he collected all of last year. Soriano’s 20 go-ahead RBI are tied for eighth in the NL this year. His game-winning two-run homer Thursday was his 20th home run of the season, giving him 11-straight 20 home run campaigns. He joins David Ortiz and Albert Pujols as the only hitters to record 11-consecutive 20-home run seasons, including this year.
* Carlos Marmol has converted his last 13 save opportunities, dating to May 2, and has a 0.73 ERA (1 ER/12 1/3 IP) in those games. He was successful in a career-best 18-straight save situations, Aug. 21, 2010-April 2, 2011.
– Carrie Muskat