Chicago Cubs: Evaluating Carlos Marmol’s place in team history

Carlos Marmol / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images)
Carlos Marmol / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Carlos Marmol / Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows

Marmol notched a career-high 38 saves in 2010, averaging a staggering 16 strikeouts per nine. Those efforts resulted in new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein extending his closer on a three-year, $20 million deal in early 2011.

And from there, the wheels came off in short order.

Simply put, in 2011, Marmol missed fewer bats. His walk rate remained largely the same, but his strikeout numbers fell and he allowed more hits and home runs. He really struggled at Wrigley Field (4.89 home ERA against a 3.06 road ERA) – and, while many things have changed over the last decade, Cubs fans’ impatience with ineffective relievers has not. But, still, big picture – he had turned in a pretty solid run. Maybe this was just a bump in the road, right?


In 2012, he bounced back to a degree, saving 20 games for an abysmal Cubs team that won just 61 games. But after that mini-resurgence, he was downright awful in the first half of 2013 and after reportedly expressing a desire to pitch for a different team (suffice to say he was not popular with fans at this point) – Epstein dealt Marmol and cash to the Dodgers ahead of the trade deadline in exchange for Matt Guerrier.

So what’s the point here?