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Cubs give Carlos Marmol his walking papers

Jun 25, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT

Carlos Marmol AP

As expected the Cubs just released Ian Stewart from Triple-A, but they also made an even bigger move by designating Carlos Marmol for assignment.

Marmol has been awful this season, making it easy to forget that not so long ago he was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball and his career ERA in 542 innings with the Cubs is 3.50. He’s posted a strikeout rate of at least 10.0 per nine innings every year since 2007, including 10.4 this season, but Marmol’s inability to consistently throw the ball over the plate made watching him agonizing all too often.

Among all active pitchers with at least 500 career innings Marmol has highest strikeout rate at 11.7 per nine innings, the highest walk rate at 6.1 per nine innings, and the lowest opponents’ batting average at .185. Unhittable when he threw strikes, unwatchable when he didn’t.

Marmol is owed about $5 million for the remainder of this season, so he’s likely to pass through waivers unclaimed and could remain with the Cubs in the minors if they don’t find a taker for him via trade. They’d obviously have to eat a bunch of that money, but Marmol is still only 30 years old and still incredibly tough to hit, so no doubt quite a few teams think “if we could just get him to throw strikes …” Chicago almost had Marmol traded to the Angels for Dan Haren this winter before Haren’s health issues nixed the deal and both pitchers have been a mess this season.

  1. professormaddog31 - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    No way. NO WAY! Oh my god, I’ve been waiting for this for over two years now.

    Good luck to the suckers who think he’ll be great for them!

  2. Alex K - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    This is a nice surprise!

  3. tmohr - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    “Unhittable when he threw strikes, unwatchable when he didn’t.”

    Give him a mullet, and he’s the new Mitch Williams.

    • yahmule - Jun 25, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      Have him say a bunch of stupid shit periodically and they could be twins.

  4. specialkindofstupid - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Upon hearing the news, Carlos Marmol tried punching a wall in frustration.

    He missed.

  5. sportsdrenched - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Congrats Cubs fans.

    Next to running backs in football, closers must have the shortest shelf life out of any position. With the exception a few HOFers (Mo, Eck) they have 1 or 2 dominant seasons and then they come back to earth, or in this case..go into the basement.

  6. valarmorghuliss - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    And people thought the Tigers should give up Porcello for the guy.

    • professormaddog31 - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      I would have still taken Dan Haren for Marmol, even with his shady health. Anyone who honestly thought a Porcello/Marmol trade was a good idea is a dork.

      • jeffbbf - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        I thought it was a good idea.

        Then again, I’m a Cub fan.

  7. norvturnersneck - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Thank goodness. It’s about time. I hate to say it, but Zambrano was right about him from the beginning.

  8. DiscountMescan - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    It’s about freaking time. They could trot Canseco out there and have better success.

  9. earpaniac - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    I can’t remember watching a pitcher who one day made you think, “Will they even hit a foul ball?!”, and the next have you wondering if he would even throw a strike. Definitely the most maddening pitcher I can remember.

    • chad10 - Jun 25, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      Henry Rodriguez

  10. scotttheskeptic - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Dear Theo,
    We have a guy you may be interested in.

    Signed,
    Ruben

  11. nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    As a Nats fan, I do kinda wish that Haren/Marmol trade had gone through. Nothing personal. Strictly business.

  12. azkev - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Only about 30 blown games too late, but better late than never.

  13. sleepyirv - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    This is incredibly depressing if necessary. I don’t root against players and would naturally prefer Marmol to be pitching well as the story.

    It looks like the Cubs are settling all of family business today.

  14. willcoop62 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    I still say the blubbery Antonio Alfonseca was worse than Marmol. I would almost go into convulsions when he strolled in from the pen.

  15. bougin89 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    This has to happen right before we start a 3 game series against the Cubs? Even if they needed him to pitch in the 7th or 8th inning I thought he should have gotten 3 more chances. In the next 3 games preferably.

  16. yahmule - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    This was like watching someone take 300 miles to shove a guy out of a car.

  17. floyd7070 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    “Cubs give Carlos Marmol his walking papers”. George Carlin asked once, “when you got fired, did anyone give you any papers? When I got fired, someone would usually just come around to the desk and say Get the f*** out of here!” – RIP George, that was funny.

  18. topwonk - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    If he is healthy, the Phillies will sign him.

    • yahmule - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      This is humorous to me. Some unsuspecting fan base will eventually have Carlos Marmol added to their organization. He’ll probably resurface with some team who has a manager who wants a guy who “has experience closing games” and there will be psychic trauma.

    • tuberippin - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Come on man. We both know Ruben Amaro is very anti-walks.

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