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Fan’s Opinion: Can Marmol Show Consistency in 2012?
Carlos Marmol of the Chicago Cubs was one of the league's best closers in 2010. Last season, however, Marmol was completely inconsistent and, at times, ineffective. Entering his third season as the team's closer, and the second year of an expensive three-year contract, Cubs fans are wondering which Marmol will show up in 2012.
Marmol has been a key component of the Cubs' bullpen since 2007, averaging more than a strikeout per inning pitched. In 2008 he was named an All-Star and finished with a 2.68 ERA. After another solid season as a set-up reliever in 2009, Marmol was given the closer's job for the 2010 season.
Marmol proved in 2010 that he could be a top closer. He totaled 138 strikeouts in 77.2 innings pitched and allowed only one home run. Marmol finished 2010 with a 2.55 ERA and saved 38 games for a Cubs team that won only 75 times.
Last season was not as successful for Marmol, unfortunately. His ERA jumped to 4.01, he managed only 99 strikeouts in 74 innings and he served up five home runs. While he did save 34 games, Marmol was frighteningly inconsistent, doubling his blown saves, from five in 2010 to ten last year.
Marmol says he has put last year behind him and is ready to move on. Fans are hoping new head coach Dale Sveum and new pitching coach Chris Bosio can help Marmol return to the dominance he displayed before last season. As a Cubs fan, I do have confidence in Marmol and believe he should be given at least one more season before his contract is labeled as a bust.
Marmol has shown the ability to bounce back in the past. One example followed the 2009 World Baseball Classic, when Marmol's Dominican Republic team was upset and eliminated by the Netherlands. Marmol made a key error in the 11th inning, earning a blown save and the loss. At the time, some fans feared that the mental collapse would possibly carry over into the 2009 season and affect his performance for the Cubs. Obviously this proved to be untrue, as Marmol did not give up a run in his first six appearances of 2009, earning three holds and two saves.
I am looking forward to watching Marmol pitch more consistently this season and return to performing as one of the league's elite closers in 2012. The Cubs will need a steady bullpen and hopefully Marmol will provide security at the back end.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.
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