Friday, July 15, 2011

Solving Carlos Marmol's Struggles

Carlos Marmol has failed to get the job done two straight days. Today, Mike Quade pulled his closer with two outs in the ninth to preserve a 2-1 win. Last night, Marmol blew the save allowing four walks and a double without retiring a man. This was Carlos' seventh blown save of the season.

So what should the Cubs do with him?

Option A) Trade Him
With his recent ineffectiveness, I don't think Marmol's value is very high. He will remain under the Cubs control for the next few years. I'd rather take a chance on keeping him than send him away while his stock is low.

Option B) Stick it Out
The Cubs season is pretty much lost anyways. They could just run him out there game after game and hope he eventually pulls it all together. I doubt Quade does this because he's trying to win enough to save his own job, but perhaps this would be the best way for Marmol to get through his problems.

Option C) Demote Him to Setup/Middle Relief
The Cubs could give up on Marmol as a close and put him back in a setup role for the rest of the year, naming either Kerry Wood or Sean Marshall the closer. I am not ready to give up on Marmol despite his struggles. If Marmol can get back on track, he can actually be a strong closer for a winning team. Whenever the Cubs get back on track (2013?) having Marmol around could come in handy. Woody has not been much better of late.

Option D) Break Time
Carlos clearly has something wrong either mentally or mechanically... or both. Giving him a week or two off to work on the side with Mark Riggins and clear his head could be the best idea. I believe he should be given a full week off from pitching at all and then return in middle relief for a week before moving back to the closer's role. However, the week off would put a major strain on the rest of the Cubs pen.

It looks as if the Cubs are sort of going with option D. Carrie Muskat reports that Q does not expect to use Marmol as the closer for the time being. Wood and Marshall will share ninth inning duties.


That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted.

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