Carlos Marmol had a rough 2011. This is not news.

Whether it was a case of overuse, lack of conditioning, a new pitching coach, or something else entirely, Marmol’s fastball lost quite a bit of velocity, his slider lost quite a bit of bite, and his stuff became all too hittable. When it was remotely close to the strike zone, that is.

All together, it led to 10 blown saves, a 50% increase in his ERA from the year before, and his worst season since he was a 23-year-old rookie starting pitcher throwing meatballs.

With a bloated closer market this offseason, the Cubs never really had much of a chance to trade Marmol, if they were interested in doing so in the first place. So, now the team is left hoping Marmol can fix his mechanical/weight/whatever issues, and return to form in the early part of 2012. From there, anything could happen.

A component of that hoped-for resurgence will necessarily be in the form of new pitching coach, Chris Bosio.

“I think with Marmol, you just want him to be himself,” Bosio said yesterday as part of the Cubs Caravan. “We’ll address the mechanical stuff when we get a chance to see him.”

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in February, but Bosio has already been looking at tape on his new staff. He doesn’t plan to immediately implement a host of changes for Marmol.

“You’ve got a unique guy [in Marmol]. Cal McLish, an old pitching coach told me, ‘Always let these guys go a little bit before you start changing anybody,’ and that’s my plan. I’ve got to see them first in person. Video can tell you so much, sitting 10 rows deep [in the stands as a scout] can tell you some things, too. You’ve got to let these guys be who they are and then try to help them and not so much maybe with mechanics but where we’re going with the pitch.”

Coming with both guns blazing may not be the best approach, so I understand Bosio’s reluctance. And, as we’ve seen with Marmol, he’s always going to have a funky delivery – as he does when he’s most effective. Still, it’s going to need some tweaks. Here’s hoping Bosio can help Marmol make them.

  • jtfromthed

    I really hope Carlos was doing a lot of conditioning work this off season. It was so easy to see he was not in as good of shape as he had been in previous years. If he threw more than 10 pitches he looked gassed half the time.

    I’m hoping he just got complacent after not having to compete for the closer role last season and that he learned his lesson about staying in shape.

    • BetterNews

      Maybe he’s getting the same stuff from Columbia Soto is getting! Did I say that?

  • Cheryl

    Marmol has akways seemed to have control problems. Combine that with the loss of veocity on some of his pitches, etc., and you don’t have an effective closer.

    • BetterNews


  • Mike F

    He’d have been better off to say nothing. Let him be himself may be fine for Woodstock, but not appropriate after the dismal performance of 2011.

  • Ron

    Now is not the time for bold changes.

  • Cheryl

    If Marmol doesn’t improve a lot of things by the end of spring training and there isn’t a market for closers then he could be sent back to be a setup man (but with control problems that would still be a problem). I doubt he could be sent down to the minors but if that is an alternative then as a last resort they should bring that into play.

  • clark addison

    I think part of the problem is that hitters are waiting him out more, making him throw strikes. They’ve made adjustments. Now the ball is in his (and Bosio’s) court.

  • rbreeze

    He needs to be around the plate more.  I can’t take those 35 pitch innings much longer.

    • keith

      basically what brenly was saying last season, and i totally agree.

  • Chef

    Marmol will be fine once he loses the 15-20 lbs he’s gained, and can make his slider have the illusion of being a strike again.

  • keith

    brett, i have to say this is one he best cubs sites i have been able to stumble across. the message boards actually have decent posts. keep up the good work.

    • Brett

      Thanks, Keith. Glad to have ya.

    • BetterNews

      Decent? Decent? We are the best(LOL)

  • keith

    agree betternews, i’ve read enough posts of lets trade schmoe #1 for that organizations top 3 prospects on other sites and than the agruing and name calling comes flying out. refreshing to see some actual reporting

    • T C

      keith, you say you’re new here, so I guess I’ll do the honors of congratulating you for being the first person I’ve ever seen type the phrase “agree betternews”.

      In the very near future, you’ll see why such a thing was notable

      edit: i accidentally a word

      • Rick Vaughn


    • BetterNews

      Keith–The rug rats try to scare everybody! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Thats what your dealing with.

      • T C

        hey man! the Rugrats was a FANTASTIC show!

  • die hard

    Theo has shown he likes taking pitchers who had off years….if he believes other teams feel the same way, why not Marmol to Royals for Soria….change of scenery to do both some good and would rid Cubs of another Hendry holdover…..

  • keith

    not so much new here but just thought i would chime in. couldn’t resist the banter after reading some of the articles.

    • BetterNews

      Your chime was a whimper!