Cubs clean house: They designate Carlos Marmol for assignment and release Ian Stewart

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

The Chicago Cubs now have two fewer problems — Carlos Marmol, their dysfunctional relief pitcher, and Ian Stewart, their disgruntled minor leaguer.

The team designated Marmol for assignment on Tuesday and called up outfielder Brian Bogusevic in his place. The Cubs also released Stewart, who is suspended and batting .162.

Marmol is the big news here, since he's been brutal out of the Cubs bullpen this season. He was their closer on opening day, but has been a ticking bomb ever since. He lost the everyday closer gig, but still managed to blow games for the Cubs in a fill-in role. Most recently, he erased a 3-0 lead on June 16 by giving up four runs in the ninth inning.

Overall, Marmol was carrying a 5.86 ERA with three blown saves and four losses. He fell a long way since saving 38 and 34 games, respectively, in 2010 and 2011. Marmol could accept a minor-league assignment and stay with the Cubs, but it's a better bet that he'll opt for free agency and try to catch on with another team that has bullpen needs. (How scared are you, Detroit?). Or maybe him and Jose Valverde can get together and start a band or something.

Stewart was suspended two weeks ago after he blasted the organization via his Twitter page. He blamed the Cubs for his struggles in Triple-A and said manager Dale Sveum didn't like him. Stewart said the Cubs might as well release him. That's what they did Tuesday.

On Monday, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman said Stewart's release was imminent — though it wasn't clear how things worked out financially. Stewart, who played five years for the Colorado Rockies before coming to Chicago, had a $2 million guaranteed contract.

These moves, particularly Marmol, coming the day after the Chicago Blackhawks won the NHL's Stanley Cup, are giving Chicago fans yet another reason to celebrate. At least the people who live on the north side of this house.

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