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Cubs standing pat with Carlos Marmol

May 5, 2013, 10:55 PM EDT

Carlos Marmol AP

Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol imploded yesterday, walking two batters and hitting another to load the bases with no outs in the eighth inning attempting to hold on to a 4-2 lead. Manager Dale Sveum replaced Marmol with Hector Rondon, who allowed all three of Marmol’s runners to score and the Reds eventually went on to win 6-4. Marmol pitched again today, completing a perfect sixth inning.

Marmol’s shaky control is no secret. Entering the season, he was averaging six walks for every nine innings and has the highest walk rate among all relievers (minimum 400 innings) since he came into the league in 2006, his 15 percent well ahead of second-place Fernando Rodney and Kevin Gregg‘s 11 percent. This season, he has walked as many as he has struck out (12) in 12.2 innings.

At some point, you would think the Cubs would keep Marmol’s Russian roulette approach away from high-leverage situations, but Sveum is not going to hide him. Via Bruce Miles:

“We’re really in no different situation than we were yesterday,” said manager Dale Sveum.” Obviously he had a bad outing and couldn’t throw strikes. But nothing’s changed in that fashion right now. Like I said he’s one of the seven guys, and he’s got to pitch, and we’ll get him back out there in some fashion. You can’t hide people. They have to pitch.”

  1. alexo0 - May 5, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Sveum will keep playing him to the detriment of the team because that’s what Theo wants; they are desperately hoping he builds up some value so that they can flip him for something more than a bag of balls at the deadline.

    • bostonfreeparty - May 5, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      Yeah but that bag of balls is looking real good right now…

      • dan1111 - May 6, 2013 at 7:14 AM

        The bag of balls doesn’t have a career 127 ERA+.

    • tuberippin - May 6, 2013 at 3:30 AM

      They might have a better chance with Kevin Gregg at this point.

  2. madhatternalice - May 6, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    I feel like I read this same article every week during the season. Is Marmol really worth all that?

  3. phipfwe76 - May 6, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    You know your team isn’t very good when….

  4. mophatici - May 6, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    about the most we could trade him for would be one of his baseball cards.

  5. natslady - May 6, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    I dunno. Davey’s been hiding Henry Rodriguez all season. (And that’s in addition to the “mop-up” guy we are carrying). There aren’t games when the Cubs are behind so this guy could pitch?

  6. dan1111 - May 6, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    Marmol has been a valuable reliever over his career. Although he walks a lot of guys, he has the 4th best strikeout of all time, and he allows few hits.

    It may be hard to watch, but is he really less valuable or more “Russian roulette” than other relievers who give up a similar number of runs, but with fewer walks? Hits are subject to chance, too.

    • dan1111 - May 6, 2013 at 7:12 AM

      Err…4th best strikeout RATE.

  7. blabidibla - May 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Makes little sense for the Cubs to keep trotting him out there. He’s never going to be a legit closer for the Cubs. Trade him to a team that can harness his elite skills. It will probably take a half year to get him back on track.

    • stevequinn - May 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      There’s just something about playing for the Cubs. Year after year of futility seems to effect anybody that plays for them I think Marmol would have benefited having a pitching coach like Dave Duncan.

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