Chicago right now is in a frenzy state. The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion. It is their second championship in four seasons. Bears training camp is still a few weeks away. This void in sports can only be filled by two baseball teams unfortunately well under the .500 mark currently. The White Sox and Cubs are both struggling.
However, just hours after the Cup arrived in the Windy City; the Chicago Cubs acquired much needed wins in a single day. How you ask? By finally completing a much needed roster move about two years in the making. The Cubs have designated Carlos Marmol for assignment. What that means is that the Cubs now have ten days to either find another team to make a trade, send him to the minors, or release him. If released, Marmol would then be placed on waives for any team to make an offer or ultimately become a free agent.
Suddenly in Chicago, the cheers of the Stanley Cup are being replaced by cheers of potential wins on the diamond. The Cubs clubhouse has cheers from a starting rotation that may receive a few extra wins and not handed more quality no decisions. The streets around Wrigley Field have cheers that the team now may actually hold onto leads after five innings. The Cubs are near the top in blown saves and games lost when leading after five innings.
Granted, playoff tickets should still not be printed but this is a roster move much long overdue. If you are not familiar with the Carlos Marmol saga it can be summed up by a much to common stat line: 1/3 of an inning pitched, 3 walks, 1 passed ball, 2 hits, and 4 runs scored leading to a blown save or loss.
Carlos Marmol had a special way of driving Cub fans to hair pulling and frustration. When he was called upon there really was no clue of what was going to happen. On the mound, visually it looked like even Marmol had no clue. It is sad, because a few years ago Marmol was at the top of his craft. In 2010, he was an All-Star, untouchable, and arguably one of the best closers in the game. He had a slider that was unhittable and made batters look like they were swinging at wiffle balls. But somewhere along the line he lost it.
He is not the first to fall from having his “A Game” and he will not be the last. Players such as Rick Ankiel, Jose Valverde, and John Axford are just to name a few. It would also not be a complete surprise if on a new club he somehow finds “it” and pitches well for the rest of the season. The Atlanta Braves are one team reportedly interested in Marmol. Cub fans have seen a few former pitchers go to Atlanta and find success in the past. Hello Greg Maddux.
In the current moment, Cub fans will love the move. They will view it as a headache gone. Organizationally however, it is a hard loss. There is a heavy salary still owed to Marmol, and it is hard to think that for the last few seasons Carlos was a prime trade target to gain prospects in return. No deals were made, and now the Cubs have to hope that just the removal of the presence will lead to wins and improvement in chemistry.
The corresponding move was that the team brought up outfielder Brian Bogusevic from the Iowa Cubs. Brian is currently hitting .319 with 14 doubles, 3 triples, 10 home runs, 32 RBI, and 16 stolen bases. He is another young talent that may bring a spark to Clark and Addison.
At the very least, the late innings may now be able to be watched with both eyes and not have them covered with fear.