Ranking the best Chicago Cubs closers of the last 25 years

Rod Beck / Chicago Cubs (Matthew Stockman /Allsport)
Rod Beck / Chicago Cubs (Matthew Stockman /Allsport) /
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Chicago Cubs
Carlos Ma rmol / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Eating before riding the Marmol Coaster was not encouraged

Recently, I opined that Carlos Marmol gets a bad rep amongst modern-day Chicago Cubs fans. Now, I’m not foolish enough to say that watching him take the ball in the ninth inning was always a pleasant experience, but he was good far more than he was bad during his Cubs tenure. 

There’s no way you can leave Marmol off a list of top modern-day Cubs closers. The guy ranks third all-time in franchise history with 117 saves, trailing only Hall of Famers Lee Smith and Bruce Sutter in the record books.

His progression was never linear, to say the least. But when the guy was on, his slider was one – if not the – best I’ve ever seen. Here, we’re focusing on pitchers’ performances as the Cubs’ closer, but let’s not forget that Marmol was nails in the two years leading up to his taking over in the ninth.

But during his run as Chicago closer, let’s call it 2009 to 2012, here’s what he put up. Marmol made 292 appearances, averaging 73 per season, working to a 126 ERA+, 3.34 FIP and just a tick under 13 punchouts per nine.

The only problem? He averaged nearly seven walks per nine, meaning any time he took the ball, you never really knew what was about to transpire.