Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lou promises changes

Ted Lilly's great comeback (6 shutout innings) was wasted as Kevin Gregg allowed his NL-leading 12th homer given by a reliever. Oh yeah, a rookie hitting .244 before the game hit the walkoff 3-run blast. You know the old baseball saying that you'll win 60, lose 60, and how good your team is what you make of that final 60 games? This game tonight fell into the final 60 games. A good team wins this game.

Lou promised "late inning changes" according to Paul Sullivan of the Tribune. I think that is the right move, but is so disheartening because coming out of the break he seemed automatic. However, since that Florida series he has blown three saves and taken the loss in another game in which he didn't blow a save (4-3 loss to the Phillies).

My gut reaction was that Angel Guzman should be the new closer. However, after some thought, I would put Marmol there. Guzman has far and away been the Cubs best reliever this year. He also has good stuff and is unlikely a flash in the pain as he was highly touted as a prospect.

But Angel Guzman has not proven it on the Major League level as much as Marmol. He also doesn't have that devastating slider. Yes I know it sounds crazy to put a guy who has walked everybody and their mother this season as I am fully aware walks are the absolute worst thing a closer can do. However, the fact remains that Carlos Marmol is unhittable. Despite his 52 walks and 11 hit batsmen, the opposition is hitting .165 off of him (opposing hitters are hitting .224 off Gregg). Marmol has also given up 11 fewer home runs than Gregg.

On the surface it would appear the Cubs are upgrading, but with Marmol's lack of control you can hardly call it that. Carlos Marmol, though, is the Cubs closer of the future. Despite the control issues this year, he has the the pitches to be a dominating closer in this league. If they are going to groom him for the position, what better time than the present?

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