dale sveum carlos marmolSo much to discuss today about the Draft and the rumor mill … but everyone’s probably stuck on yesterday’s loss. Before digging into the reactions to the game, let me offer one thought up front: remember that Carlos Marmol and Dale Sveum (and everyone, really) are real, live people. They aren’t just words and numbers on a screen or pictures on your TV. What happened yesterday was extremely disappointing and frustrating, and criticism is both fair and justified. But let’s try to keep that criticism within the realm of rational and proportionate. Overly angry rhetoric doesn’t befit any of us.

  • That said … yes, Dale Sveum probably should have pulled Marmol before that homer. We’ve all seen it with him lately: he’s either quite good from the get-go, or disastrous. After a homer, a walk, and a solid single, it was fairly clear which Marmol had showed up yesterday, and it was time to pull the plug. That said, we’re talking about maybe just one batter too many. It happened quickly enough that I can at least understand the argument that you let Marmol face another batter or two – it’s not like you expect Kirk Nieuwenhuis to hit a walk-off homer.
  • I’m not sure what was up with Marmol yesterday, other than it was clear he couldn’t get the fastball where he wanted it, and the Mets were absolutely spitting on the slider. That’s really been his problem as his effectiveness has faded – the slider is still decent, but he doesn’t have a quality fastball to set it up anymore. So batters spit on the slider, sit on the fastball, and knock him around when that fastball is up in the zone.
  • As much as you may not like to hear it, using Marmol in the 9th yesterday was completely defensible. He’d been pitching well for several weeks, Kevin Gregg was unavailable, and it was a three-run lead. In an otherwise lost season, right now is all about trade value. One save or a scoreless 9th wasn’t going to make Marmol’s trade value anything more than saving a few hundred thousand bucks and a fringe prospect, but not using him in that spot yesterday communicates to the trading world that not even the Cubs trust Marmol late in close games when they have few other options. So, you use him, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. It didn’t work out, but what really was lost, other than a game that wasn’t going to be the difference between the playoffs or no playoffs anyway?
  • On the decision to use Marmol, Sveum essentially said that he has experience closing, while the other pitchers available did not. He said that Marmol’s been pretty good outside of the 9th inning this year, and I guess he thought that justified the opportunity yesterday. But Sveum went on to say that, for whatever reason, Marmol just can’t get those last three outs right now. I reckon this was the final 9th inning save opportunity he’ll be getting for a long time.
  • Alfonso Soriano, who was apparently visibly angry about the loss, called the whole thing unacceptable. Per ESPNChicago: “We have like 99 [percent] chance to win, the whole game we’re winning, and it’s very tough. In the last inning, with just less than three outs left to win the game, and we lost. It’s unacceptable. It’s hard to take, hard to swallow.”
  • Matt Garza didn’t say much after the loss, other than to note that he didn’t think he had his best stuff, but still got good results.
  • Patrick Mooney on the awesomeness of the Cardinals organization. As usual, it’s a good read (albeit a painful one, given the subject), save for one lame inclusion: “The Cardinals don’t wish for a magical Jumbotron.” Come on. The Cubs don’t wish for a “magical” JumboTron, either. They wish for the same kind of JumboTron the Cardinals have had at new Busch Stadium since it opened almost 10 years ago: the kind that generates revenue.
  • Nate Schierholtz, All-Star? There’s certainly an argument. The front office really nailed that signing if the current results are to be believed. He’s been a strict platoon player (just about 10% of his plate appearances have come against lefties), and he’s absolutely crushing righties (his OPS against righties is above .950). He’s also killing it at Wrigley Field, where his skill set obviously plays well. These are things the front office anticipated when signing Schierholtz, despite the protestations of the masses.
  • Jp3

    Here’s my rationale of Carlos Marmol… He’s bad at baseball, specifically at pitching a baseball

    • Jared

      Is it too late to convert Carlos back to a catcher?

      • Mark S

        Increased trade value!

    • cjdubbya

      Let’s just completely ignore the previous four outings where he gave up one hit and had eight strikeouts. He’s inconsistent, not bad.

      • Jp3

        I realize he was good in his previous few outings but as you put it “inconsistent” is not what I want from someone I’m trying to close a game out. At the very least do what he did early in the season and when Marmol didn’t have it early, give him the hook before its too late. I think it’s amazing Marmol hasn’t blown that many saves this year, it’s only because he was given the hook at the pertinent time.

        • gocatsgo2003

          I’m confused… if he hasn’t blown that many saves because Sveum has shown the willingness to give him “the hook at the pertinent time,” why is everyone bitching about Sveum and his use of the bullpen?

          Marmol has clearly shown the ability to get hitters out at the major league level; the problem is that he has also shown the ability to completely implode. Sveum has apparently shown the willingness to stem the bleeding and pull him from games, but he can’t just sit him on the end of the bench and hope for an effecive bullpen while operating down an arm.

          • Jp3

            Why? We’re going to do it to Ian Stewart when he comes back from suspension, btw can we get Marmol suspended due to conduct detrimental to the team? Aren’t we carrying 13 pitchers right now anyways?

      • Kyle

        For a pitcher, inconsistent *is* bad.

        Every pitcher looks good if you set up arbitrary endpoints to avoid his bad outings.

    • CubFan Paul

      Worst Kyle impression ever.

  • Jp3

    Ummm. They SPIT on the slider? Repeatedly apparently.

    • OCCubFan

      And they let the spitter slide.

  • http://bluebattinghelmet.wordpress.com Rob

    Why was Gregg unavailable? He’s 9 for 9 in save situations this year. No way is he not available.

    • DReese

      He was used the four previous days, he was unavailable.

      • cubbiesOHcubbies

        I’m going to try this reasoning with my boss on Friday. “What do you mean I have to do my job on Friday, I just worked 4 days in a row” even if it was only for 15 minutes a day……. I’ll let you guys know how that one works for me. However, this is how baseball is, if you dont want a shawn camp situation next year, dont use your pitchers the way they used camp last year. He is a perfect example of what happens when you overuse a pitcher.

        • OCCubFan

          So we should expect every pitcher to work 40 hours a week? That would be about 120 innings per week. Not even Dusty Baker does that.

    • cjdubbya

      Because he’d been used the past four days?

    • BABIP (MichCubFan)

      He can only pitch so often.

      • Jp3

        True but with this team, it could be 3 weeks before he’s needed again

        • BT

          That’s not how it works. You don’t get to pitch a guy 70 games in a row, then shut him down for the season because he’s reached his yearly limit.

      • http://bluebattinghelmet.wordpress.com Rob

        I disagree. Gregg pitched in 40 games in 2012, and not one was a save situation. For a closer like him, that had to eat at him. Now he’s back to closing, and he wants to be out there in that situation. He wouldn’t be a competitor otherwise.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Shawn Camp and his 80 appearances in 2012 (a career high at 36 years old) and his clearly worse stuff in 2013 say “hello!”

        • hansman1982

          So then what happens on day 6 of consecutive save opportunities? Day 7? Just keep trotting him out because we might not get a save opportunity for a while?

          Excellent plan to induce TJ surgery.

          • http://bluebattinghelmet.wordpress.com Rob

            Sorry, Mrs. Gregg, but I’m a Cubs fan who wanted to win yesterday’s game. And your boy Kevin won’t be on the Cubs roster six weeks from now, either.

            • King Jeff

              That’s a perfectly acceptable reason to run him into the ground.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Dusty Baker? Is that you?

  • KidCubbie

    I think everyone in baseball knows Marmol’s value. He is an ok middle reliever, nothing more. He obviously has brain cramps when it comes to the 9th inning. If the Cubs are trying to get any value at all out of Marmol they should just keep him in late inning low-stress situations. Trade him for some A ball fringe prospect and wash your hands of him.

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      I agree – I think the only (and it’s minuscule) trade value Marmol will generate is as setup guy. If we want to trade him he shouldn’t be pitching in the 9th where not only does he often implode, but blowing saves/losing games is magnified in terms of media coverage.

      How is another team going to sell making a deal for Marmol to their fans if this is the image fans around the country have of him? Why take a chance on a marginal player if your fan base already thinks he’s awful? Why would you give anything up for that situation?

  • wax_eagle

    It was 96.6 Alfonso, but who’s counting.

  • The Dude Abides

    “using Marmol in the 9th yesterday was completely defensible” – yes letting him start the ninth but to stay in and lose it is not. Sveum needs to step up his game, days like that get managers fired.

  • Melrosepad

    Wish Dale would have put Parker in first instead of Marmol. Guy has shown he can close at the AAA level, why not give him a shot when Gregg is unavailable.

    • Rich H

      He had Parker up I just think he wanted Marmol to get through one more batter (I know I am really stretching to find logic in this). Remember that Sveum’s job is to every player a place where they can succeed. Who would have thought a .097 hitter would put one over the wall?

  • Jp3

    Anyone remember the beginning of the season when this same scenario happened? Oh wait I need to be more specific, all Marmol’s appearances start this way. Marmol blew a save one day then the next he did his SOP (walk,hit, walk) and before the opponent tied it up he pulled him and Marm got credit for a HOLD! Wow that star is almost more worthless than #of wins

  • Internet Random

    “[B]ut not using him in that spot yesterday communicates to the trading world that not even the Cubs trust Marmol late in close games when they have few other options. So, you use him, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.”


  • curt

    I normally agree with you Brett but this time really what
    was lost ? How about whatever confidence that this team has left, marmol has zero trade value anyways , so what are the other 24 players confidence worth compared to s few thousand you might get , and I think he’s been doing better lately bc he’s been used in much lower expectation situations, and I do get not using Gregg , but wht not Russell or anyone else.

    • http://none millhah

      thank you. can we finally put to rest this “value” stuff, it’s zero, has been.for some time.

    • Good Captain

      Fair point. The difference is that Marmol’s actual performance re-conclusively (sic) established the point feared. That said, I do think Marmol is traceable for a mid-fringe low prospect or two (C–) because a team may be willing to take a flyer on him to see if the change in scenery somehow leads to something better than what he’s shown in the first alf of he season. But I believe even under this scenario, the Cubswill need to pay almost, if not 100%, of his salary.

  • North Side Irish

    Nothing on the Tyler Skulina signing? You’re slipping Brett…and clearly need to kick that pesky personal life/sleeping habit.

    Jim Callis @jimcallisBA
    #Cubs sign 4th-rder Tyler Skulina for $800k. Kent State RHP has frontline stuff, 91-96 FB, tight 80-84 SL, inconsistent command. #mlbdraft

    Slot was like $477K, so the Cubs are getting savings somewhere else.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You know me better than that. Skulina signing is not a Bullet item; it’s getting its own post. And I also wasn’t going to bury it on Father’s Day (a Sunday, to boot).

      • Melrosepad

        Brett, will news about Daniel Poncedeleon changing his mind be in there too?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Same post, actually.

          • gocatsgo2003

            (Sarcasm) Do you think Kris Bryant will sign? (/Sarcasm)

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Oh, and I should add: that’s why I count on you to post the stuff immediately in the comments. :)

        • North Side Irish

          Tyler Skulina ‏@tskully31 3m
          See you soon Arizona, first flight Detroit

          Like that?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett


  • caryatid62

    I think the use of “several weeks” is a bit misleading.

    He had four good outings, which is something that any decent reliever should be able to do–in fact, Gregg had done that the four previous DAYS. Trumpeting four good outings (after two other outings in which he gave up 5 ER total) is simply a case of lowering the bar to accommodate a guy who has not been good all season.

    Marmol isn’t good. He’s not “inconsistent,” he’s bad. There’s nothing that should keep him on this team anymore–he’s not a flippable asset, he’s not under contract after the season, and his presence on the team only alienates paying customers. There’s no good reason to keep him on the team at this point, and he should be waived. He’s the very definition of a sunk cost.

  • Le Cubs

    Just wondering but who are the draftees that are already rumored to be signed because I can’t find anything on it?

  • jt

    Garza had a real good game against a bad team.
    Marmol is losing ability as he ages. We know that.
    Except for Gregg and Russell the BP has not been good. We know that.
    Parker has not proved that he has command. He certainly has not proved that he has command in a save situation. We know that.
    Even if The Cubs won yesterday, all that we know would not have changed.
    That is all that we knew would not have changed except that now we know that Garza is capable of having a really good game against a bad team.
    All in all, that is a pretty good thing to know.

  • Jay

    As nice a season as Schierholz has had, I’m not sure how you make a case that a platoon player should be going to an all-star game. I’d actually be interested in seeing Nate play against lefties too and see how he does. No matter what his splits may be, he can’t do any worse than his platoon partner Hairston.

    • Jon

      Hairston has been fine. He’s hit for power against lefties, what he was brought in for. He’s had some really bad luck with babip/

  • cub2014

    Luke or Brett What do you know about Daytona
    pitcher Frank Del Valle I saw he was an all-star for FSL
    I saw an old scouting report that says he throws in
    mid to upper 90’s as a lefty starter. After he did so
    well last year at Daytona why is he their again?
    I see he has 43 strikeouts in 30 innings. Anybody
    know anything about him?

    • BluBlud

      I guess he is there again because he was a starter who was converted to a reliever. Kind of wierd, considering he had very good numbers as a starter. He be a good one if he can keep the walks down. Last year he was great, this year, it’s a little high.

      • Good Captain

        That is weird unless he just can’t keep his velocity of his pitches up throw a long multi-inning start on a regular basis.

  • Jon

    ugghhh, that article by Mooney was awful. He’s the worst.

  • Jim Gillmeister

    As a season ticket holder, I respectfully disagree with you.

    Marmol has no value. No other team will take him if it means eating even $1 of his contract. The Cubs should release hi and walk away.

    My wife and I buy into the rebuilding plan, but episodes like this make it hard to not get really, really angry and to start questioning that plan. It is clear that Carlos shouldn’t have been of=n this roster a month ago. The prospect we got for him in a successful trade would have been the fringiest of the fringy, and the salary relief wouldn’t have amounted to more than $100,000-200,000. Why alienate your fan base and your clubhouse for such a small return.

    The old saying is appropriate – fish or cut bait. With Marmol, we should have cut bait a while ago.

    I also don’t buy Sveum’s arguments. I think he used Marmol in that situation to send a message to the FO to get rid of Marmol and replace him with someone else, even if the replacement is brought up from the minors.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Does being a season ticket holder somehow make your opinion more valid?

      • Jim Gillmeister

        No, but I mention it because we’re on the hook for $20,000 a year and I’m angry. I don’t like being treated like a fool, which is what the Cubs did keeping Marmol on the team. The discussion this entire year has focused on blowing up the team if they’re not in a solid position come July. Marmol should have been the 1st explosion.

        • gocatsgo2003

          But what sense does it make to “explode” him for no other reason than to make him hit the bricks? In what is admittedly already a lost season, why not try to see if we could squeeze out just a little value by sending him out there?

          While it obviously hasn’t worked out very well, I think the strategy was sound.

          • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

            Ask Qball this guy blew 12 saves that year the first of his current contract! Squeeze “shit” he should have been cut when Kerry Wood retired.

            • hansman1982

              I’m guessing you will either get your wish on August 1st or Marmol will get buried on the depth chart so deep he’ll be knee deep in Chinese baseball.

          • Jim Gillmeister

            We can agree to disagree. I think that more was lost by keeping him than any possible return we might have received. The FO upset the clubhouse and angered the fan base. You’ve seen the empty seats. They’re looking for revenue – and yet they’re telling the paying customers they don’t respect them.
            For what? The salary relief would have been inconsequential, The prospect would have been low-A roster filler

      • Spriggs

        It puts his comments in perspective.

      • Andrewmoore4isu

        Yes it does make his argument more valid. I’m guessing you need me to explain how? It basically gives him credentials to justify his opinion. When he says he is a season ticket holder it makes the claim that he is educated an passionate about the cubs, enough so that he will buy season tickets and post on forums around the web.

        Any other dumbass questions?

        • gocatsgo2003

          Really? The fact that someone has tickets to every game that they may or may not attend makes their opinion more refined/qualified than others who don’t have tens of thousands of dollars, but catch every game possible one way or another and soak up every bit of information availble through sites like BN and others?

          The “as a season ticketholder” qualifier is one of my favorite things ever, as if the ability to purchase tickets lends gravity to the subsequent opinions in and of itself.

          • North Side Irish

            As a season ticket holder, I disagree.

            • King Jeff

              As a non-ticket holder who hasn’t been able to go to a game in years but follows any way he can, I disagree with you.

              • D.G.Lang

                As a life long Cub fan now retired and living on Social security down in Florida, I agree with you.

                Living in Florida alone makes the purchase of season tickets unreasonable and the financial concerns also preclude throwing away money on games that I have no way of attending.

                However even though I don’t have season tickets I am still a loyal Cubs fan and I do follow them every day.

                Indeed, even when I was in the Army back in the 60s I still followed them on the radio. I had to place myself near overhear phone wires to enhance my reception but I did so just to listen to the games.

                A lifetime fan is still a very knowledgeable commodity worth listening to. A season ticket holder without the lifelong following of the Cubs doesn’t carry much weight for me.

                However, a lifelong fan with season tickets is also worth listening to. Listening to doesn’t equate to having the same opinions or beliefs, it just means respectfully letting the other person state his beliefs and the reasons for them without insulting the other when we disagree.

                • King Jeff

                  I wasn’t saying that he wasn’t worth listening to, just disputing that because someone is a season ticket holder, it means that everyone should value their opinion higher than others who are either less fortunate, or are just geographically disabled from attending games.
                  Gocats said that it shouldn’t make their opinion more refined or qualified, and I agree with him. I know a few season ticket holders who comment on twitter who are absolutely ignorant to some facets of baseball ops. While it shows dedication, it isn’t a precursor to having more insight or carrying more weight than others, which is what I feel is being insinuated above.

        • Cedlandrum

          I don’t think it makes his argument more valid. It only means that he lives close enough to the stadium to have and use season tickets and he can afford them. I don’t have either of those things and it doesn’t make my arguments less valid. I am guessing the great majority of people on this site if had access and money would also be season ticket holders.

        • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

          agree and he “the paying season ticket holder” has a right to feel this situation is playing him like a fool. Even in a “lost” season the FO needs to manage the roster while stocking the farm. I live in Georgia and it pisses me to no end that my 86-83 year old parents who die for the Cubs have to watch this shit.

    • jt

      Cherry pickin’ time.
      From April 7 through May 31 Marmol was in 20 games. He gave up a home run in a 9-1 win and 3 ER’s in another game. Pretty good.
      Except he gave up 12 hits and 12 walks while K’ing 19 in a bit over 19 IP. He used to overpower batters. There is nothing there that indicates overpower.
      Now I’m not saying he did that with smoke and mirrors. But, he probably was doing that with the best stuff he has available. Maybe batters have watched film and figured out how to beat him? Probably, the weather has warmed and he has tired rendering his “stuff” not good enough any more.
      The cherry pickin’ stretch was a good stretch. But it was a stretch were he was JUST good ‘nough. For the first half of June it has been sufficient.
      I give the guy credit. He was pretty good for a few years. The above has shown he is working hard to honor his contract. Hey, he just isn’t that good anymore.

  • Spencer

    I really really really detest the argument that “eh, Marmol was the best option”. No. He’s not the best option in the 9th inning. I don’t care if he has 500 career saves, he has proven time and again that he can’t close games this season. If Blake Parker had blown that game yesterday, how many people would’ve said, “Oh man! I wish Sveum would’ve went with Marmol because Marmol has the most closing experience and Gregg was unavailable!” Zero people. And people would’ve actually understood why Sveum went with Parker. No one understands why he went with Marmol.

    Also, the “What difference does one game make in a lost season?” Well, I guess I just think that every game is important enough to win, so that’s why it bothers me when the 25 players on the team are not put in the best position to win baseball games. But hey, the Cubs have been a really successful franchise, so I don’t mind them giving up in June every now and then. No biggie. Blow all the games.

  • Spriggs

    Marmol is a joke to everyone in baseball. He has no trade value now and still wouldn’t if he closed 10 games in a row (with 3-0 leads against teams like the Mets). He lost his closers role on a team without a closer. The Cubs. To Greg – a guy off the scrap heap. No one would dare have anything to do with this guy anymore. Bob Costas interrupts the US Open golf Championship to laugh at this clown. He should not be a major league pitcher. He is a replacement player at best right now.

  • caryatid62

    In another strike against the “he’s just inconsistent” chorus, Marmol has allowed runners to reach base in 70% of his appearances this year. SEVENTY PERCENT.

    That’s not inconsistent. That’s bad. Just bad. Bad, bad, bad.

  • Clark Addison

    I disagree. Mooney and Miles are the only Chicago writers worth reading. Amy has the ability to find a different angle or a different interview than all the other writers.

    As for Marmol, he should have been pulled after the walk.

  • Clark Addison

    That should have been and he, not Amy.

    Siri blew the save

  • jstraw

    “It didn’t work out, but what really was lost, other than a game that wasn’t going to be the difference between the playoffs or no playoffs anyway?”

    The way millions of Cubs fans would feel with a fourth straight win? Turning off the tv smiling and not fuming? Not feeling like I had the wind knocked out of me?

    This isn’t nothing. I watch baseball every day for the sake of baseball every day…not just for milestones like making the playoffs.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You are right. That isn’t nothing.

      In my opinion, it isn’t enough for me to shred Sveum/the Cubs for using Marmol instead of Blake Parker in yesterday’s game. That’s what we’re talking about here.

      • jstraw

        I’m not shredding anyone. I’m saying Sveum made a bad decision to leave him in and that after yesterday, I never, ever, ever, ever, ever want to see Marmol in the bottom of the ninth again.


      • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

        Bret to me it is about the FO managing the roster they are killing Dale and Cub moral. The Tigers have the same problem, it will be interesting to see how that FO handles it.

  • Steve

    It was a bad decision to put him in that situation. Regardless if you are in last place or not. Dale does not have a good handle on being a major league Manager. He needs to go as does Rawson the hitting coach. Marmol is not a closer anymore and showed last year and this year he can’t hang anymore in those kinds of situations he has cost the Cubs at leas 15 to 20 games in the past 2 years. I want to win all the time, he is not a winner either is the coaching staff.

  • auggie1955

    Schierholtz would be my pick to be the Cubs rep at the AS game this season. He has been a very good signing in the offseason. It’s too bad that the Cubs only signed him for one year and will be trading him before the deadline.
    On the other hand the Cubs signed Hairston to a 2 year deal, so we’re stuck with him for one more year. Looking at his numbers last night, I saw his OBP for the last 3 seasons were right around or below .300. What were Jed and Theo thinking?

    • hansman1982

      His career .808 OPS vs. Lefties?

    • bbmoney

      Cubs control Schierholtz next year too. He has another year of Arb. left so all the Cubs (or whatever team he’s on then) needs to do is offer him arbitration.

  • BluBlud

    I must say I hated the Schierholtz signing. Wow, i was wrong on that one. My only problem with the whole Schierholtz situation, is that he is playing himself into a trade. I would love to keep him, but the way he playing right now, there is a contender who could use his services.

    Hitting .300
    Slugging .560
    OPS .900

    Somebody is going to want that on their team.

    • hansman1982

      I distinctly remember the Schierholtz signing thread. I was thoroughly confused as to the angst.

  • Oswego Chris

    I think Travis Wood or….gulp….Gregg should be their All-Star…

  • Kyle

    “He’s been pitching well since his last blowup” is not a defense. His blowups are what makes him a terrible pitcher.

    Dale’s defense was that he went with a Proven Closer in a save situation.

    • hansman1982

      Unless you are thinking it’s possible we can get 2012 Marmol back where, in mid-May he was able to make some tweaks (or have the tweaks made for him) and be a very effective reliever from there out.

      • Kyle

        If you are thinking that, stop. It’s over.

        • hansman1982

          I will continue to hold out hope until there is too much negative hope.

          He most likely is toast right now. He does have the highest IP of all relievers of the past 5 years and even in his “great” days he was walking WAY to many guys.

          The next 40 days will be all about trying to maximize trade value and any gamble that is aimed at that end (those 8 words have a WHOLE lotta meaning behind them) will be worth it regardless of the outcome. Even yesterday is very defensible. You might as well trot Marmol out there. History has shown us that it doesn’t matter who is on the mound, 3-run leads get blown at the same rate by everyone.

      • caryatid62

        “Effective” is a relative term. Yes, he was not allowing a ton of runs, but even during his “effective” period, he was still allowing a lot of baserunners (he allowed hits or walks in 22 of his 32 appearances from June 1-Oct 3, and allowed multiple hits or walks in 11 of the 32).

        It’s entirely possible that Marmol was just lucky from mid-May to the end of the season last year. Given what we’ve seen from him from 2011-2013 so far, that stretch seems like more of an anomaly than the norm.

        • hansman1982

          That is very possible. It’s a case where I think luck will play a smaller role. His performance last year was actually worse than in 2011, he threw more fastballs at a higher velocity, his BABIP was in-line with what we have seen the past few years, he walked fewer guys. All of this coming after they made a significant change.

          My question is, why on God’s green Earth have they allowed him to resume throwing the same number of slider’s as before last year?

    • jt

      Dale’s other options also sucked.
      I don’t think it bothers anyone that I say that.
      Perhaps it would bother some that count if Dale said it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No, it was multilayered. And, to me, Dale’s defense isn’t what matters. Using Marmol was defensible at an organizational level – the game didn’t really matter, and the tiny upside left in Marmol’s tank (couple hundred grand in trade, fringy prospect) was worth the risk. There really isn’t another useful way to spin it.

      • caryatid62

        There is no upside. They’re not getting a fringy prospect for him. They’re not saving money. It’s not happening.

        The best they could do after his “effective” stretch last year was get Dan Haren, who is almost equally terrible and would have offered no salary relief. And that was after his numbers were good for four months.

        I’m sorry, but the idea that a one-in-a-million trade scenario might come along isn’t worth the loss of a game, the trust of players, and the willingness of even one fan to pay to see a game in 2013. To even call it “defensible” borders on pollyannaism.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          “There is no upside. They’re not getting a fringy prospect for him. They’re not saving money. It’s not happening.”

          If he closed out yesterday by striking out the side (which he’d just done a few days prior)? If he pitched fantastically for the next month?

          You can’t know. And the downside in using him was tiny – even for Marmol, everyone’s acting like they knew with 100% certainty that he was going to blow a three-run lead. Ridiculous. It’s the worst kind of hindsight blasting.

          There was virtually no reason not to give it a shot yesterday – the stars had aligned for the Cubs to make the best Marmol-related statement they could make, and then see what happened over the next month. They took their shot, and he flopped. That doesn’t mean it was the wrong shot to take.

          • caryatid62

            The downside was not “tiny.” It was a lost game, lost confidence and potentially interest (as expressed in the quotes by Soriano and Garza), lost potential revenue by people who are choosing not to go to future games this year .

            “And the downside in using him was tiny – even for Marmol, everyone’s acting like they knew with 100% certainty that he was going to blow a three-run lead. Ridiculous. It’s the worst kind of hindsight blasting.”


            “There was virtually no reason not to give it a shot yesterday – the stars had aligned for the Cubs to make the best Marmol-related statement they could make, and then see what happened over the next month. They took their shot, and he flopped. That doesn’t mean it was the wrong shot to take.”

            The “stars” hadn’t aligned. He had four (FOUR!) slightly better than average appearances, one of which was in a loss. That isn’t some sign that he turned a corner–it was likely just luck. They took a shot, which was a dumb shot that had almost zero upside (do you really think that some GM is going to say “hey–he converted a 3-0 save against one of the worst teams in baseball. Let’s get that guy!”). Even if he doesn’t allow a run for the next month, no team will trade for him. They’re just not going to do it. From a performance standpoint, he’s toxic.

            The organization deserves to be criticized for keeping him on the roster, not lauded. Or even defended. It’s not good for the team, it’s not good for the organization, and it’s not even good for Marmol.

            • hansman1982


              How many comments about Sveum’s piss-poor managerial abilities do we see after wins or when trotting Marmol out there works?

              “It was a lost game, lost confidence and potentially interest (as expressed in the quotes by Soriano and Garza), lost potential revenue by people who are choosing not to go to future games this year .”

              Get used to the fact that wins, from here to the end of the season, are only a cherry on top garnishment. The next 40-days are all about squeezing every drop of trade value (even if it means adding only a drop to an empty oil-drum) possible.

              • caryatid62

                “How many comments about Sveum’s piss-poor managerial abilities do we see after wins or when trotting Marmol out there works?”

                If we’re going to argue against the dumbest counterarguments that we see in these comments, it will be a waste of time. There’s stupid on both sides of the aisle for pretty much every issue that comes up.

                The point is that people weren’t “acting like they were 100% certain Marmol was going to blow the save.” Bringing it up is an attempt to distract from the point.

                “Get used to the fact that wins, from here to the end of the season, are only a cherry on top garnishment. The next 40-days are all about squeezing every drop of trade value (even if it means adding only a drop to an empty oil-drum) possible.”

                To attempt to squeeze drops out of Marmol (at the expense of others, as Kyle has noted) is a stupid strategy and they should be criticized for it. If they’re willing to sacrifice a win at the major league level for a 1% chance to make $100,000 or get an org. filler, their priorities are wrong.

                • hansman1982

                  A 3-run save has the same odds of being blown regardless of who is on the mound. Since the Cubs need to show others they can trust Marmol in a situation like that, it makes perfect sense to put him in there.

                  • caryatid62

                    He didn’t have to blow the save to hurt his (miniscule) value. Had he come back after the Byrd home run and finished the game, it’s not like his value would have improved.

                    Furthermore, it’s a single game with relatively low stakes (as you wrote, 3 run leads don’t get blown often). If we all know that, don’t you think every front office in baseball does, too?

                    The Cubs’ showing “trust” in Marmol isn’t going to affect his value. The front offices aren’t going to say “look–they put him in a 3-0 game against a terrible offense, therefore he must be better than our scouts are saying.” If anything, Marmol’s performances are doing damage to Sveum.

                    There is almost nothing to be gained from putting him in that position, and (even though W-L is not as important for this year’s team) more to lose. It did not make perfect sense. It was a bad decision.

                    • hansman1982

                      Dale should have pulled him early; however, had he succeeded then you could have done a 2-run save then a 1-run and re-established that he retains *some* close-and-late ability.

                    • caryatid62

                      I think you’re reaching on that hypothesis.

                      Really reaching.

          • Kyle

            Is the upside Marmol gained from pitching that situation more than the upside Villanueva could have gotten? Russell? Parker?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Given the volatility of Marmol’s stretches coupled with the obvious desire to trade him (relative to the not-so-obvious desire to trade the others)? I think you can definitely make that argument.

              And I’m glad you mention it, because it underscores how not simple this whole situation was.

              • Kyle

                It’s definitely not simple. But I don’t think “Marmol might gain trade value by being used as a closer” works as a point. If we are assuming other teams fall for that sort of thing, then almost any pitcher could accrue value that way.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  It isn’t about “closer” – as I said, it’s about showing confidence in Marmol in that high leverage situation when Gregg was unavailable.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    Which gives the Cubs even less value back because he’s being looked at for his closer value, always has. Otherwise they wouldn’t keep trotting him out there, hoping beyond belief that he can do the specialized work of getting a 3-out save with a 3-run lead situation. It’s the perfect “high leverage situation” of which you speak.

            • cms0101

              Yes, because had Marmol shown he could handle it, his value would increase the most over the 3 guys you’ve listed. Overall, this seems like a silly debate. He just came off an outing where he struck out the side without a hint of trouble. With Gregg not available, it totally made sense to trot Marmol out there. It’s not the best possible option you’d want as a manager, but it’s not implausible to put him out in the 9th inning with a 3 run lead. We all know he stinks. Nobody is saying he doesn’t. Hopefully he won’t have to be called on too many more times to close out a game for Gregg. I think we’re good there though, as I don’t suspect this team will have too many more stretches where our closer has to pitch 4 days straight.

      • OCCubFan

        Brett, I understand your point, but I disagree. If Sveum thought Marmol was the best option and the decision turned out poorly, okay. But if Marmol was sent out to build trade value knowing he was a poor option, that is insulting to the fans.

        However, my main problem is that Marmol’s performance is binary: pretty good or really terrible. When you send him out, you have to have a quick trigger to pull him. In the first two batters, Marmol had trouble finding the strike zone and served up a cookie to Byrd. It should have been clear to everyone that it was not Marmol’s day to be effective.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          “If Sveum thought Marmol was the best option and the decision turned out poorly, okay. But if Marmol was sent out to build trade value knowing he was a poor option, that is insulting to the fans.”

          Decisions are nuanced, guided by more than one input (each of which vary in their strength).

  • Jp3

    How about Felman and Wood? Yes, gulp, you’re right on Gregg has about earned his way on the all star classic too