Carlos Marmol Replaces Kevin Gregg as Cubs Closer

Posted on 19 August 2009 by Lou

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Manager Lou Pinella finally made the switch – Carlos Marmol will be the Cubs closer the rest of the year.  Kevin Gregg will serve as a late inning reliever.  Pinella probably would have made the switch sooner if he had a more viable option from within.  While Marmol has electric stuff, he has struggled with his control all season long – in 56 1/3 innings, Marmol has issued 52 walks!  With a .163 batting average against, Marmol really just needs to throw strikes.  Marmol has a 3.51 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.  He has a 2-2 record with 4 saves, 27 holds  and 4 blown saves.  He also has 67 K’s.

Gregg finally forced Pinella’s hand after a disastrous August.  In 8 August appearances, Gregg has a horrendous 11.25 ERA.  Gregg blew 3 of his 5 save chances in the month and took the loss in 3 games by issuing game-winning home runs to the opposite team.  Not good.

Pinella had these comments about the move:  “We needed to try a different approach.  We’ve been very patient, if you want to use that word.  We’ve lost some tough, tough ballgames.  M<armol deserves an opportunity, so we’re going to give him that chance…This wasn’t something that just cropped up overnight.  That’s a tough job for anybody and he’s had some success, obviously, but lately he’s been struggling.  We decided to make a change and hopefully it worls out best for our ballclub.”

Gregg took the demotion like a true diplomat: “I don’t blame them.  We have to go with the hot hand right now.  That’s the life of my job.”

It’s probably too little too late right now.  The Cubs are 6 games behind the Cards in the NL Central race and 5 games behind the Rockies in the NL Wild Card race.  The Cubs offense is average at best, but more often inconsistent and “non-clutch”.  It has been a brutal, frustrating year for the Cubs and Cubs fans, and I’m sure Marmol will have some rocky moments along the way during the final 40 games of the 2009 MLB schedule.

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