This is the Carlos Marmol I feared as the Cubs’ closer.
The guy who hits a batter, walks another and then blows the save opportunity. He hasn’t done it often this year, going 12/15 in save chances, but Marmol’s history tells us you’re going to have outings like the one we saw Tuesday night in Milwaukee.
Even the best closers blow a few saves over the course of a 162-game season, and Marmol is no exception. But his knack for losing the strikezone makes him a high risk finisher, which is why I’ve always had more confidence in Marmol as the set-up man.
That said, however, Marmol’s squashed any notion that’s he’s not closer material. Entering Tuesday’s game his 51 strikeouts ranked first among all big league relievers, and his 1.37 ERA is seventh best in the NL. His road ERA is less than 1.00, he’s also held the opponent scoreless in 22 of 27 outings, and just three of the 16 inherited runners he’s faced have scored. That’s All Star type stuff!
Marmol, obviously, isn’t a perfect closer, or even my choice for closer. But the numbers don’t lie…he’s still the Cubs’ best option for closing the door.