Carlos Marmol bummedIt’s a rookie mistake. You go to a game one day, and it’s cold. It’s raining. It’s overcast and it’s generally miserable. But, hey, it’s a Cubs game. So, the next day, naturally, when it’s supposed to be just a touch nicer, you don’t much think about the weather. You go, you sit, you enjoy, you bask in the sun’s rays, even if it’s only 60ish degrees. And then you look in the mirror … and you’re fried. My face currently looks permanently embarrassed (which I kind of am) thanks to its bright shade of red. The left side of my neck and the backs of my hands also got it good. Oof.

  • Carlos Marmol’s appearances yesterday was his 453rd with the Cubs, a club record. But I’m sure it was an outing he’d like to forget.Β “He’s not executing,” Dale Sveum said after yesterday’s game, per “He’s not throwing the ball over the plate. It doesn’t matter what pitch is called ….Β He’ll be pitching in roles with the game on the line, early in the game, or whatever. One way or the other, he’s got to get fixed. I don’t even know if he threw a strike today. There were a couple swings, but I don’t know if they were strikes. One way or the other, we have to get him fixed, because he’s got to pitch.” There’s only so much you can do when a guy simply can’t throw strikes. All you need to know about the horror that is Marmol’s season is that his walk rate is now 9.3 per 9 innings, and his strikeout rate is a (by far) career low 8.5 per 9. He’s walking more guys than he’s striking out. He’s also given up more hits and home runs per 9 than before in his career. In other words, on the young season, Carlos Marmol is pitching worse than he ever has before – even back when he was a young, unsuccessful starting pitcher.
  • Darwin Barney’s been struggling with the bat all year (.169/.290/.288), and Dale Sveum says it’s partly because Barney is changing his swing every day, per CSN. Specifically, Sveum says there are some mechanical issues that they thought they’d sorted out with Barney’s swing in Spring Training, but “he kind of abandoned it.” Wonder what that’s about.
  • Dale Sveum has no intention of seeing Ian Stewart in Chicago any time soon, given the success of the Luis Valbuena/Cody Ransom platoon. Sveum said Stewart is a “AAA player” right now.
  • Brett Jackson’s nagging toe injury – turf toe – has forced him to the disabled list. He’d already gotten out to a rough start, though he’s been dealing with the toe issue for most of the season at AAA.
  • Paul Sullivan with the do’s and don’t’s of a video board at Wrigley Field, and I’d say he’s just about right on all accounts. Though I wouldn’t mind the marriage proposals.
  • A thanks to my buddies at Sons of Ivy for a great time yesterday, and it was also great to see BN’ers Danny and Tim after the game.
  • Tommy

    Every time I see Sveum talk about Stewart, I always get the impression that he’s not a big fan of his. I think if it were up to him, Stewart wouldn’t even be with the Cub’s organization (pure speculation).

    • Njriv

      I get that vibe also.

    • Spoda17

      I agree, doesn’t even seem like he even tries to hide it…

  • Josephine

    Here’s a question for you: does Marmol absolutely have to be a pitcher? What’s the chance of converting him to another position? I know he used to be a catcher, right? At least Ricketts wouldn’t lose money on his contract(unless it’s uninsured?).

    I know Rick Ankiel broke into the big leagues as a pitcher, but after pitching horribly in the playoffs he went back into the minors and converted to the outfield.

    I know I’m no expert; I’m just a frustrated/angry fan who’s sick of decent starts being blown by the bullpen.

    • Chaz Mulherin

      Big difference is Ankiel was a good hitting pitcher. Marmol didn’t make it as a positional player because he was a poor hitter. What good would making him hit do?

    • Tom A.

      I truly understand the basic concept of this question. It does show that you wisely noticed that Marmol is terrible and never ever going to be better at his current craft of pitching. So, the natural thing to consider would be what else could he do. Many of us are that way in life, looking to use something we bought for one reason for a different purpose just to avoid admitting a mistake. Generally, that does not work. At this point in time, nobody that follows the Cubs even in the least extent possible could see any value in Marmol. Also, having him on the major league roster in any form is an insult to the other 24 players. My personal hope is to never see him play again.

  • Njriv

    Tough for BJax, I’ve experienced turf toe and it is an absolute pain in the ass. As for Marmol, I think they should just release him. No general manager in his right mind you give up anything with any sort of value for him. Even if he goes on a run of 15 straight saves he wont net much because everyone knows how inconsistent he is. If we couldn’t get anything for him last last off-season when he ended the year as strongly as he did then I think it’s just time for him to go. Even if someone does pick him up, Marmol is soo bad that I wouldn’t mind paying him to play on another team. Any team that picks him up would already be putting themselves at a disadvantage.

    • Tommy

      I go back and forth with that way of thinking with Marmol. He’s so bad right now, it’s just ridiculous, but at the same time, it’s hard to forget just how good this guy can be. And we’re not just talking about a couple years ago. As early as the second half of last year, he was awesome.

      It’s all very confusing. It seems like it should be easy to get a guy to throw strikes, but obviously it’s not. There is just something very wrong with Marmol’s head right now that is keeping him from being able to throw strikes consistently. And it’s been pointed out to us several times how he falls off of the mound when he throws, so I’m sure that has been mentioned to him numerous times by the coaching staff, but to no avail. He just seems unable to make adjustments.

      All we can do is hope that something finally clicks with him. If we can get consistent relief pitching, we could see a serious winning streak with the way we always seem to ALWAYS lose at the end of games.

  • Marc.N

    The promising thing with Barney is that the Iso numbers are better. Hes taking his walks and getting some XBHs. I’m expecting his best offensives seasons over the next couple.

  • Mike

    Maybe it’s coaching??? Maybe it’s time for a new pitching coach or bull pen coach?? Starters are doing surprisingly well, the whole en sucks!!

    • Rcleven

      Coaches don’t throw balls. It’s the talent level of the players.
      Can’t make silk purses out of sows ears.

    • demz

      Not to mention Wood’s success has to be at least partially credited to Chris Bosio and the coaching staff.

  • Mike

    Turf toe is a pain in the ass?? All this time I thought it had something to do with toes. Damn!!

  • MichiganGoat

    Agreed with you on the Sullivan’s video do/don’t, as for marriage proposals it all about just how regular they would become but I’m okay with it either way. The idea of having a in-house video of Cubs history before games would be that kind of body shutter awe experience plus how they handle Go Cubs Go after victories will be interesting.

    And YES TO HARRY KARAOKE – I’m over the quest conductor business it’s become comically. If the person is not a valid Cub fan they have no business doing that. Save it for special top quality guest especially on nationally televised games or weekend games.

    • DarthHater

      Marriage proposals. Meh. If you want some entertainment, throw up the video of a guy being served divorce papers while he’s in the bleachers. πŸ˜€

      • MichiganGoat

        Hey that would be excellent at least I’d have Old Style on hand plus hordes of drunk girls that would feel bad for me- sound like a winning day πŸ˜‰

        • Dude

          We need to get this guy:


  • Die hard

    Watch for sun poison signs– dark blotches …. as for the Cubs sun poison would be the least of their problems…

  • DarthHater

    There’s this new product called sun screen, Bert . . .

  • Spencer

    Brett! Shoulda bought some $15 sunscreen from the vendors…

  • JP

    Interesting thoughts from Tommy, sveum, does appear to have a problem with stewart…the big issue is, maybe sveum doesn’t belong in the majors either. One thing for sure, one can not blame stewart for the failures of the cubs………and sveum. sueum, stupid statement that his third base combo, is the best in baseball is ludicrious………it’s the only third base combo……unless you look at little league, where EVERYONE, has to play.

  • Marc.N

    Oh and I like Valbuena. He seems like a competent, cheap player with a ton of.versatility like a Luis Sojo or Enrique Wilson. Hes had a strong start so I like the approach of not letting Stewart just have 3B.

  • Jp3

    Meh, once again Sveum doesn’t recognize talent when he sees it… Calling Ian Stewart a AAA player is a disservice to AAA players everywhere.

  • Bryan

    As much as I blame Marmol for his bad outings, Svuem has to be held accountable too. Yesterday, your team is winning 4-2 late and you bring in Marmol, who you know is struggling. And of course he blows up again. That’s all on the manager.

    Seems to me that Marmol should only be pitching in situations where he can’t hurt the team. At least until he has sorted out his issues.

  • Believe in 2015

    In some positive news, Soler hit a homerun in yesterday’s game and Baez has brought his average up to .260 with 5 hr and 20 rbi’s

  • Kramden

    Two questions:

    1) Why keep a player in the organization that obviously doesn’t want to be with that organization or is taking advantage of that organization, setting a bad example for everyone else (Stewart)?

    2) Why give a pitcher who can’t pitch a roster spot when you can give that coveted chance to someone who may be able to (Marmol)?

    If Theo’s determined to do things the new “Cubs way”, then sometimes he’s going to need to make some tough choices and set an example of what will be tolerated and accepted and what won’t be tolerated and is unacceptable.

    • @cubsfantroy

      Who says Stewart doesn’t want to be with the Cubs? I don’t recall him ever saying that. I also don’t know how he is taking advantage of the Cubs. He didn’t hold a gun to Theo’s head and tell him to give him a contract. He has injury bad luck, the Cubs took a cheap flier on him and it didn’t work out. He is organizational depth right now.

      I can’t disagree with you on Marmol.

      • Jp3

        An expensive flyer, but you’re right nobody told Theo to purchase that bad hammy/wrist???? waiting to happen. I’m fine with going out a limb for a player with upside but when you’ve seen 1st hand the year before he can’t stay on the field, then in spring training he does the same thing, why on earth did you put a clause in the contract to allow you an out if he’s not showing enough to make the big squad, and then not take It!?!?! That is the most baffling part.

        • MichiganGoat

          He couldn’t get cut from ST because he was injured and therefore the 2M vested because he was on the DL. He could only get cut without pay for a poor ST – in many ways he lucked into the 2M by getting injured. I thought it was odd & unfair at first but it’s more common than I thought according to other people.

          • Jp3

            Yeah I posted about that from one of Brett’s Gods wrath watches. I don’t want to sound cheap but there was a very short time he was activated then reinjured during the spring they could’ve cut him. It would’ve been ruthless doing it the 2 days he was playing but that’s why Theo gets paid the big bucks, to make cut throats decisions about payroll.

            • MichiganGoat

              Maybe but I remember hearing that because he had such a limited ST they couldn’t really cut him for performance without the union getting involved. It’s just a quirk in the game, so now we keep him in Iowa and wait for regression for our 3B platoon and hope he starts to hit. At worse its just a gamble that we loss but didn’t really cost us all that much… But yeah it sucks

              • Jp3

                Yeah he had 0 spring training ABs so he probably never played in a game this spring to get injured again. I’m guessing he got reinjured himself in extended spring training game or something. Either way, he slimed his way through ST without showing one iota of promise. We got caught wearing the dunce cap on that signing, you win some you lose some I guess.

              • Jp3

                I meant to say yeah you’re right on the ST issue. We probably couldn’t have cut him without starting a shit storm from the union

        • MichiganGoat

          And 2Mis cheap for a player that’s has Stewarts amount of service time, even if that time sucked. Wouldn’t it be nice to get 2M for his performance.

          • Jp3

            You mean some performance for his $2mill?😊 People have robbed banks for much less and gotten jail time than what he’s stealing from the cubs

            • DarthHater

              Excellent analogy. πŸ˜›

              • Jp3

                Sadly with the way Stewart is hitting right now we’d probably be happy paying him $2mill not to play everyday. How many people here would be exstatic for Marmol to get his salary and not see the field again….ever???? MEEEEEE!!!!!😝

  • Cheryl

    Sveum has to take into consideration his other players. He can’t keep running Marmol out there the way he’s pitching. Can Marmol be sent down to the minors on a “rehab” assignment, a long rehab assignment?

  • Dustin S

    Don’t feel bad Brett, I made a similar mistake last year. In June we were travelling in Chicago for something unrelated to baseball. Being the Cubs fan I am, I woke up one morning in the hotel and checked ticket resale prices and found some very cheap last minute tickets. I thought, hey a spur of the moment Cubs game this will be fun and spontaneous. So we went to the game and sat in the LF corner seats. Failing to check the weather for the day or bring sunscreen, we went to the game which turned out to be one of those 101 degree days where the Cubs had people walking around with sprayers to cool people off. We were right in the sun and by the end of the day were completely lobster-fied. Although I think I lost about 10 pounds in sweat that day, it was 2 weeks of horrible sunburn pain and a mistake I won’t make again for quite a while.

  • John

    Safe to say Stewart won’t play another game in Chicago?

  • Ivy Walls

    I am continuing with my post from this mornings Box Score thread in that it to Marmol case in point. Sveum keeps rolling them out there while Epstein/Hoyer are saying Sveum makes all the game time decisions….well if there was a strong manager he would sit Marmol and tell management that he has 24 men available. Make them make the decision and further start working Soriano around, like a part time player.

    My real answer is bring in Sandberg. He is 3rd base coach but still can be brought back as a manager. Give Phillies compensation this year like Marmol.

    He is the best young manager in the game. Then start dealing the crap.

    • Brett

      Strictly speaking, Marmol had made 12 straight scoreless appearances before yesterday.

      • Kyle

        I think that tells us a little bit that he’d been pitching a little better, and a lot that “scoreless appearances” isn’t the greatest stat for a relief pitcher.

        • Brett

          To be clear: I wasn’t saying he’d look good during that stretch. He very much had not. It was a “just sayin'” kind of thing.

      • DarthHater


        • Jp3

          Haha twice in the same day, and it was in the proper context. Amazing

  • Mike

    Maybe we can trade marmol to the brewers for axford??? One piece of shit pitcher for another!!! At least both teams fans would have a new guy to complain about!!!! A fresh start!!!

    • Dynastyin2017

      You mean two bad relief pitchers, right?

  • jim


    • DarthHater

      Good to see that you finally figured out how to get your caps lock to stay on. Now push it one more time to turn it off. While you’re at it, push the off button on your computer, too.

  • Cubbie Blues

    As expected, it was good to meet you as well, Brett. Sorry for the late post. We got back in town last night. I’ll get you the pics later today.