Carlos Marmol has been shaky throughout his seven years with the Chicago Cubs, but this would be a new depth to the craziness surrounding his career. On Opening Day on Monday, Marmol came on in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 3-0 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and promptly imploded. Now, he could be out of a job.
Marmol took over for starter Jeff Samardzija, and immediately struck out Garrett Jones. And that was the high point of his afternoon.
He then hit Andrew McCutchen, who promptly stole second base. Then Pedro Alvarez drove McCutchen home with a single to center. With the score 3-1, Marmol then walked Gaby Sanchez and was relieved by James Russell.
The 30-year-old Marmol left the game having thrown 19 pitches, and just nine of then went for strikes. His ERA on the young season is 27.00 and his WHIP is 6.00.
That horrendous performance has to have the Cubs thinking about what’s going to happen with Marmol this season. Manager Dale Sveum still claims Marmol is going to be his closer, but you can bet he’ll have an incredibly short leash.
In 2011, Marmol was the Cubs’ closer and had 34 saves, but he also blew 10 chances and posted a 2-6 record with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in 74 innings. Last season, he tossed 55.1 innings, and saved 20 games while blowing 3 chances and posting a 3.42 ERA, but a woeful 1.54 WHIP. His WAR in 2011 was 0.5, while it was 0.3 in 2012.
Basically what those numbers mean is that after seven major league seasons, Marmol still has electric stuff but isn’t consistent and has yet to become a reliable closer.
Don’t be shocked if the Cubs finally make a permanent switch at the back end of their bullpen soon.