Marmol out as Cubs’ closer — maybe for goodContinue reading.
Cubs’ Sveum on closer Marmol: “No worries”
MESA, Ariz. — Despite Carlos Marmol’s inglorious meltdown just six days before the season opener Tuesday night, manager Dale Sveum said he’s not worried about his closer heading into the season.
Marmol, who also struggled with two walks and a hit batter in his previous outing, failed to retire any of six batters he faced Tuesday against Cincinnati, allowing four hits and a walk, with one runner reaching on an error. All six eventually scored. He had a 1.86 ERA in 10 outings this spring before that.
“He’s been throwing strikes with his fastball and [Tuesday} he got hit a little bit, but he still threw strikes and he’s doing a pretty good job,” Sveum said. “He had four outings in a row where I think the most pitches he threw was 12. There’s no worries there.”
Sveum pointed to what Marmol did over the second half of last season (1.52 ERA 12 of 13 in save chances) and discounted spring training numbers.
“Obviously, anybody can lose their job any time during the season, but you don’t get caught up in what’s going on in spring training,” he said. “Just like you don’t worry about one of your core hitters struggling in spring training, because Opening Day is just a whole ‘nother animal to where the adrenaline and focus and everything gets tremendously better than it does sometimes in spring training.”
Meanwhile, former Japanese All-Star closer Kyuji Fujikawa is capable of backing up Marmol, Sveum said.
“If Marmol throws three days in a row or something, you’ve got a viable candidate to close that fourth game if Marmol has to be down,” Sveum said. “You’re dealing with a guy that’s done it many, many times before, with th stuff and the makeup to be able to do it.”