Marmol Fails First Test…

Carlos Marmol got his first big test as a closer in the Dominican Republic vs. Netherlands elimination game in the World Baseball Classic and if I was a Cubs fan watching this game, I would be very nervous headed into the season.

In my “Looking At Fantasy Closers In 2009”, I had Carlos Marmol as question mark. Meaning either he is going to be the next Francisco Rodriguez or the next Armando Benitez. I know it is only 1 game but after Tuesday nights blown save in a 2-1 loss against the Netherlands, I am going to say he is the later. Here are some Benitez-like qualities that Marmol displayed on Tuesday night:

1.It looked like he drank 12 Red Bulls before he took the mound. Man was this guy wired. Classic Benitez moment. He lets the moment dictate him, instead of him dictating and controlling the moment.

2.He was trying to throw the ball 200 mph. When a pitcher overthrows and is hyped up his fastball becomes straight. That is what Marmol threw Sidney de Jong…a straight fastball. Hence, a double off of the wall.

3.After he gave up the game-tying single to Gene Kingsale, Marmol started screaming to himself. This is never a good sign for a closer. There is a difference between being intense and being out of your mind. Jonathon Paplebon is intense. Mario Rivera is intense. What I saw from Marmol, he was out of his mind on Tuesday.

4.Marmol was all over the place. In 26 pitches, he only threw 14 strikes. When a closer’s ball/strike ratio is 1 to 1 that usually means there is a blown save on the horizon. Benitez in many of his famous blown saves was all over the place.

Marmol had a Benitez-like meltdown on Tuesday

Marmol had a Benitez-like meltdown on Tuesday

As you can see Marmol has some classic Benitez moments on Tuesday night. Now some of you might be saying Benitez wasn’t all that bad. And you are right. From 1999 – 2004, Benitez had a 2.46 era, averaged 35 saves a year, made 2 All-Star games and won the 2001 NL Rolaids Relief award. I think any team would take those numbers from their closer over a 6 year period. But ask any Orioles, Mets and Giants fan about Benitez and they will roll their eyes and cringe like you wouldn’t believe. Why? Because every time Benitez was put in a pressure situation he came up short.

For fantasy purposes, Marmol is not so bad. Who would complain about the Benitez’s numbers above? To get 30+ saves and a 2.45 era from your fantasy closer is something every fantasy owner is looking for. But I am getting the feeling that Cubs fans will have the same experience with Marmol that other teams have had with Benitez.  He will get his saves but when the Cubs need Marmol the most, he will let them down.

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2 Responses to “Marmol Fails First Test…”

  1. Cubs “Set” With Marmol As Their Closer…Really? « The Ghost of Moonlight Graham Says:

    […] I wrote about Marmol as a closer last year during the World Baseball Classic. In my opinion, he does not have the mental makeup to handle the closer duties in Chicago. […]

  2. Chicago Cubs “Set” with Carlos Marmol as Their Closer…Really? | North Side Chicago Cubs Says:

    […] I wrote about Marmol as a closer last year during the World Baseball Classic. In my opinion, he does not have the mental makeup to handle the closer duties in Chicago. […]

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