Mr. Meltdown Strikes Again

Let’s not get caught up in Dale Sveum’s semantics. The skipper’s not “considering removing Carlos Marmol from the closer’s role.”

Marmol is as good as gone. The real question is what took so long?

Watching Marmol toss meatball sliders has been frustrating to no end, and a red–faced Todd Hollandsworth said as much on CSN Chicago following Marmol’s latest meltdown.

“You owe it to the rest of the clubhouse to fix this situation…this will beat a clubhouse up.”

Just when everything was looking up, too. Dempster off the DL with his 0.95 ERA, three home runs in one game, a 3-0 lead heading in to the ninth and the potential for a 4-2 road trip through Philly & Cincy on the horizon.

Carlos Marmol, C’mon on down!

Here’s the thing, the Cubs knew they didn’t have a legit closer after Marmol slumped to a league-leading 10 blown saves in 2011. But they stuck with him anyway.

And they continued to stick with Marmol despite the fact he blew 2 of his first 3 save opportunities while pitching awful in between. Now it’s 3 of 5 blown saves chances.

Maybe the organization felt obliged because they’re paying Marmol ‘closer money,’ or because they didn’t feel they had a better replacement, which I begged to differ.

But Marmol’s meltdowns are not about who should replace him, or whether Sveum pulled him too late from Thursday’s disgrace (which he certainly did), but the fact Marmol never should have been out there in the first place.

This Marmol scenario wasn’t difficult to predict. He’s consistently failed to produce. Sveum’s tardiness to take action is what’s sickening.

Thursday’s gut-wrenching loss shouldn’t have happened, and Sveum’s indecision to hold Marmol accountable is likely coming at the cost of losing his other 24 players.

Note to Sveum: The playing time Marmol’s earned is garbage duty. If he stinks the joint up like he did with a 5-run lead in Philly, he should be replaced there too.

Forget about trading Marmol. The guy has virtually zero value, and won’t until he shows he’s major league worthy.

I’m not talking about the Cubs holding out for higher trade value. I’m talking about ‘who wants the guy?’

No one does, leaving the Cubs, for better or for worse, stuck with Mr. Meltdown.

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2 Comments

Filed under Cubs Blog

2 responses to “Mr. Meltdown Strikes Again

  1. Spoda17

    Good post Brian. Sveum took waaaaaay too long to pull Marmol. What I am finding is that Sveum, and the organization, have a ton of patience… sometimes that is good, and sometimes that is not so good… I was getting so pissed at Sveum when he was messing with the lineup every day, but he seems to have stopped doing that… now let’s see if he figures out how to manage a bullpen. Unfortunately I’m not confident he is there yet.

  2. You’re right about patience. Sometimes it’s a double edge sword.

    Managing a bullpen is crucial for an NL team’s success. With the Cubs doing evaluations of players this year, we know some guys will pitch in spots they’re not cut out for. But Marmol isn’t one of those guys. He proved last year he’s no longer closer material.

    The silver lining to this whole mess is there’s absolutely no misunderstanding of Marmol’s ineffectiveness. He had to be removed from closing, and Marmol showed that nearly every trip to the mound.

    And maybe more importantly, a lesson learned for Sveum.

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