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Kyuji Fujikawa replaces Carlos Marmol as Cubs closer

Apr 7, 2013, 11:08 AM EDT

fujikawa getty Getty Images

As first reported by Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have made a change at closer.

Kyuji Fujikawa, who was signed to a two-year, $9.5 million free agent contract this winter after spending the last 12 seasons in Japan, will be Chicago’s new ninth-inning man. He struggled mightily in Saturday night’s late loss to the Braves, allowing three earned runs in the eighth inning, but the Cubs still feel that he will be a big upgrade over Carlos Marmol.

Marmol has surrendered six hits, two walks and five earned runs over 1 2/3 innings this season. He will serve as a mop-up man until he gets himself right.

If Fujikawa can’t cut it, the Cubs will probably try either Shawn Camp or James Russell next.

  1. kelshannon19 - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    How many times will we hear this same thing about Marmol sucking? You’d think they would have learned the last six times he was removed from closer role.

    • tuberippin - Apr 7, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      The Cubs have an abused-wife mentality regarding Marmol. “He’s a good closer, he just made some mistakes. He doesn’t mean to take it out on the ball club. He’ll be better next time, I know it.”

  2. wonkypenguin - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    As a Cubs fan, please just let this stick. Even if they’re terrible this year, for the sake of competition, just eat the loss and let him come in when they’re already down by 7 instead of giving up that many.

    And yes, I know that closers only get brought in when they’re up by 3 or less. But you have to understand: Carlos Marmol’s runs allowed feel like they should be measured much like we measure dog years.

  3. Old Gator - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    No one can “replace” Carlos Marmol.

  4. maddogg911 - Apr 7, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    It’s going to be a long season for Cubs fans; they are used to it . Go dodgers!!!!

  5. thomas844 - Apr 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    The Cubs actually have some good hitters and the makings of a decent rotation in the future with Samardzija and Jackson. They just have to give their disaster of a bullpen a makeover before they can get on the road to becoming relevant.

  6. asimonetti88 - Apr 7, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Man, so glad the Marmol/Haren trade didn’t go through. If it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t have been able to get Ryan Madson to be the closer! oh wait.

  7. Walk - Apr 7, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Not sure what was going on with fujikawa last night but the braves sure noticed something about him judging by the way they were talking to the next hitters in the dugout.

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