A special set of Bullets to lead off your day. Regular Bullets will come, too, but there was so much Carlos Marmol to discuss, given his designation for assignment yesterday, that it would have overwhelmed everything else …
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer offered some very interesting thoughts in the wake of Carlos Marmol’s designation for assignment yesterday – thoughts he couldn’t share until the Cubs had made the move. “We held out on this move for a long time in part because with his salary, he was providing solid innings in the sixth and seventh,” Hoyer explained to the media, per Carrie Muskat. “The decision really came down to it had become a distraction. It became hard to pitch as well as he could because every time he threw two balls, he’d get booed, and I don’t think that’s easy for anybody. I think it became difficult for his teammates because there was a little bit of a sideshow mentality to it. We felt it was the right time. It had become a distraction and he wasn’t able to pitch late in the game for us. That was really the decision.”
- On the way Marmol has been used this year, Hoyer wanted folks to know that it wasn’t about trade value. “He had a really good second half last year, and no one bid at the August deadline, and we didn’t have any offers other than someone else’s undesirable contract for ours,” Hoyer said, again per Muskat. “There was a lot of talk about trade value and things like that, but that something we’d given up on long ago.” I guess that means the Cubs have no hope of getting anything for him through the DFA process …. But seriously, the fact that the Cubs couldn’t get any kind of nibble at the end of August tells you everything you need to know. He was pitching very well at that time, but playoff-bound teams simply could not trust his high wire act. At least not in the late innings, and at least not when they’d have to give up value to get him. Then again, we don’t really know what the Cubs were asking or how much of his 2013 salary they were willing to take on.
- Hoyer also wanted to make sure fans remembered just how good Marmol was for the Cubs for a long time.
- It sounds like Marmol is on board with the move. His agent told Ken Rosenthal that “a lot of teams need bullpen help. He needs a change of scenery. There is nothing wrong with him physically.”
- Jesse Rogers doesn’t buy the it-was-hard-for-Marmol-because-of-the-boos explanation for his struggles, pointing to Marmol’s rough outings to start the year before he’d even pitched in Chicago.
- I’m torn on the booing thing. On the one hand, as I’ve said before, I don’t think it makes much sense to boo Cubs players for failing when they are otherwise trying the best they can. And I certainly think it’s gotta be hard to keep performing well when your own fans jump all over you for committing the grievous crime of … being called into the game. On the other hand, there are “stuff” explanations for why Marmol’s trajectory turned downward (also not necessarily his fault, given how hard he’d been ridden), and I’m not crazy about excusing a player’s performance because of the fans.
- That said, Marmol got it worse than any player I can remember, even when he was still contributing positively to the team. Hopefully he latches on somewhere else, and hopefully he is well-received. There’s no reason not to wish him a great deal of success, and we’ll see how the DFA process plays out.
- A couple of third-party takes on Marmol’s time with the Cubs, from Deadspin and from SB Nation.