Cubs DFA Marmol, Release Stewart, Call Up Bogusevic...Then Dance!
TheJedi took away some of the Blackhawks thunder this morning by finally ridding the Cubs of long-time heart attack-in-waiting, Carlos Marmol. The Cubs will have 10 days to trade him or he'll be released, either way the Cubs are going to be on the hook for the bulk of the rest of what he's owed (around $5M). They also announced that the suspension of Ian Stewart was upheld and he's been released as well. There were earlier rumors that the two sides were discussing a settlement, so I'm unsure if he'll get all of the money still owed to him or just a portion. Brian Bogusevic is the next up on the Price is Right and will take Marmol's spot on the 40-man.
As for our favorite elephant-eared closer, a career that started with a biting slider and visions of Francisco Rodriguez, eventually fell into a career of roller coaster 9th innings and in a sad way, the epitome of the Jim Hendry era. Too much money, to the wrong kind of player, even though he showed signs of promise and domination. Let's take a quick look at Marmol's top 5 fiascos...or at least 5 that I remember and found through Baseball Reference.
5. Back-to-back losses to start 2012 season versus Nationals
The first game Marmol entered with the game tied 1-1 and immediately got the first 2 batters, but then gave up a double to Chad Tracy and a single to Ian Desmond and the Cubs took the loss...nothing too egregious, but a bad start to the season nonetheless. Game 2 was a combination disaster between him and Kerry Wood. The Cubs start the 8th with a 4-2 lead and Kerry comes in and gets two quick outs before the wheels falls off...home run by Espinosa, single by Zimmermann and a single by LaRoche and Marmol has to enter in a jam that he turns into a catastrophe.
- Walk to Werth (of course)
- Single to Tracy (Nats take 5-4 lead)
- Double to Bernadina (6-4)
- Walk to Ramos
He's replaced by Shawn Camp who gives up a single to Lombardozzi to allow the inherited run...Wood gets the loss, but the tone of 2012 is set right off the bat as Marmol starts off the season with a 27.00 ERA that takes him until August 1st to get under 5.00. Remarkably, he ends up only blowing 3 saves in all of 2012.
This seems like the type of game that Marmol will best rememebered for....the Cubs head into the 9th with a 3-2 lead. The following occurs:
- Walks Prado
- K's Derrek Lee
- Walks Brian McCann
- Walks Alex Gonzalez (really?)
- K's Melky Cabrera
- Gives up a 3-run triple to Rick Ankiel
- K's E. Hinske
Final Line: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 B, 3 K, 3 ER and the loss
The Cubs enter the 9th with a 5-2 lead and the 5-6-7 hitters are due up for the lowly Astros (38-84 heading into the game). Pretty close to the easiest of saves scenarios you could muster up...
- Paredes lineout to LF
- Shuck single to RF, wild pitch gets him to 2b
- Barmes single to LF
- Downs walks to load the bases
- Bogusevic walk-off grand slam
Final line: .1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 WP and the loss
The Cubs come back with 3 in the bottom of the eighth to take a 3-1 lead and spare Zambrano a loss and set him up for a win. They hand the ball over to Marmol and the following happens.
- B. Wallace single to RF
- C. Johnson double to RF
- M. Downs double to LF ties the game
- Sac bunt (thanks for the out)
- Bourn single to CF gives up the lead, who steals 2b
- 2-run HR by Pence
Final Line: .1 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 1 BB and the loss
Having already lost the closer role to Kevin Gregg, but forced into duty after Gregg pitched four days in a row, Marmol's crown jewel ends his Cubs career. Entering the 9th with a 3-run lead versus the 3rd worst team in baseball...
- M. Byrd hits a home run
- L. Duda walks
- John Buck singles
- Quintanilla gives Marmol an out with a sac bunt
- Nieuwnhuis hits a 3-run walk-off HR
Final Line: .1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 ER, the loss and his walking papers
I'm sure there are a few more painful outings out there (gives up home runs to the Upton brothers earlier this season for example or this 8th inning disaster versus the Reds earlier this season), but those were the ones that caught my eye and that I recall living through.
The date is September 24, 2011 and the Cubs head into the 9th up 1-0 against a Cardinal team desperatetly trying to stay alive in the wild card race. Marmol does his best to save their season.
- Berkman Fly out
- Holliday single, Green pinch runs, steals 2b, advances to 3b on E2 by Soto
- Freese K
- Molina BB
- Schumaker BB
- Theriot BB ties the game
- Wild pitch ends it...
Final Line: .2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, the loss and the World Series to the Cardinals
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.