Tuesday Morning Starters, Including A Thought On Carlos Marmol


The Chicago Cubs season reached new low yesterday when closer Carlos Marmol threw a wild-pitch that plated the game-winning run for the Washington Nationals. The reason Marmol was in the game was because reliever Marcos Mateo was pulled from the inning because of an apparent elbow injury. In wake of the loss, manager Mike Quade is questioning whether or not relievers should warm-up in the bullpen instead of on the mound. There will be more on that thought after the jump, as well as a look at Carlos Marmol, and Carlos Pena in the Home Run Derby?

After the game yesterday,Quade told reporters that if a pitcher is more comfortable warming up in the bullpen instead of the on the pitcher’s mound in front of 30,000 fans, he should be able to do so.  Quade was referring to the fact that Marmol was forced to make his warm-up pitches on the mound after the Mateo injury, instead of in the bullpen. Though Marmol was not making excuses, saying that he simply “just threw a bad pitch”. Granted, I have never been in that position, but I think Quade is wrong. Warming up in the bullpen is not as private as he may think it is. In certain ball-parks–Wrigley Field being one of them–the relievers warm up in front of a row of fans.

Speaking of Marmol, the Cubs closer has struggled more than some may have expected this season. Marmol is still having a productive season as he has 17 saves to go along with an ERA of 2.27. But the issue with Marmol is that he already has 5 blown saves this season, the same amount that Marmol had all of last season when he was named to the All-Star team. The difference between this season and previous ones for Marmol, is that hitters are making more contact against him. This season hitters have a batting average of balls in play of .315 against Marmol, the highest mark that it has even been at during Marmol’s time with the Cubs. In total, Marmol has a batting average against of .207 this season, which is up from 2010 when it was .147.

Chicago Cubs first-baseman Carlos Pena told reporters that he would accept an invite to participate in the home run derby. With 17 home runs this season, Pena has the fifth most of any player in the National League. Unlike past seasons, the Home Run derby teams will be formed by two captains. Prince Fielder is the captain of the National League team, while, David Ortiz is the captain of the American League team.

Ramon Ortiz will make his Cubs debut today, and Marcos Mateo will likely be placed on the disabled list to make room for Ortiz on the 25 man roster.