The prevailing wisdom is that Carlos Marmol will take over as the Cubs’ closer this year, based on the fact that he is a large-eared super-bad-ass-master on the mound.
But, maybe Kevin Gregg is, too (snicker).
The Cubs acquired Kevin Gregg from Florida this offseason, and Piniella doesn’t want to declare Marmol the closer until he sees both pitchers this spring.
“Let them compete,” Piniella said. “I feel comfortable with Marmol, there’s no question. But we traded for this other young man, and he was a closer over there with success. Give him a chance, too.”
Gregg has 61 saves over the last two seasons with the Marlins while Marmol has eight career saves, getting seven of those last year when Wood was injured. Who has the edge?
“That’s really for Lou to decide,” Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. “I think Carlos has proved what kind of job he can do in that role. I’d be surprised if there is anybody who can do it better. We’re confident in what he can do.” cubs.com.
Ultimately, I don’t think it really matters who goes 8 and who goes 9 as long as those are the two best pitchers in the pen. Yes, yes, the 9th is all stressful and shit, but ultimately, it’s just as easy to blow a game in the 8th as it is in the 9th. Teams don’t save their bench JUST for the 9th.