According to multiple reports, Carlos Marmol will be activated from the disabled list today. The former closer pitched decently-enough at AAA Iowa in a rehab stint coming back from a hamstring strain (and, let’s be honest, clearing his head). He’s not likely to return to the closer’s role immediately, from which he’d already been removed when he hurt the hamstring.
Marmol could slide into a late-inning role, though, because the Cubs just lost one of their late-inning pitchers. In the corresponding move, Rafael Dolis was sent to AAA Iowa.
Dolis started out the year strong, and it was easy to see why the Cubs have liked him for a long time despite mediocre numbers in the minor leagues. He has a beautiful sinking fastball that he throws easily in the mid-90s. But his control took a hit in recent weeks, and, without another decent pitch, he started getting hit when he was in the strike zone. Never much of a strikeout pitcher, if Dolis can’t command the strike zone and force hitters to get themselves out low, he’s not going to be effective. That was especially the case since mid-May, when Dolis’ ERA blew up into the teens.
Dolis, still just 24, hadn’t pitched above AA before this season, so it’s not like this demotion should be a huge blow to his development. Hopefully he works on what he needs to at AAA, and comes back later this year or next year a more complete and polished pitcher. He could still be a big part of the Cubs’ bullpen going forward.
As for Marmol, your rooting interest should be crystal clear: we hope he pitches lights freaking out, returns to the closer’s role quickly, and continues to dominate. And then, in July, he’s dealt.