Carlos Marmol once struck out 16 batters for every nine innings he pitched. Think about that. Think about a closer who strikes out a batter per inning. Now think of that closer slipping in an extra strikeout in seven of the nine innings he pitches. That's insane.
But as Marmol was striking out half of the National League, he was walking the other half. He walked six per nine innings in 2010 when he had that career-best K/9, and he walked just under six per nine innings last season. The strikeout rate slipped, though. And in the first part of 2012, Marmol's control and strikeout numbers both went in the wrong direction, leading to blown saves and a 6.23 ERA. Now he's out:
Marmol officially informed by Dale Sveum that he is out as Cubs closer. No defined role as of yet.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) May 4, 2012
The likely replacement is rookie Rafael Dolis, who has been the anti-Marmol when it comes to strikeouts, but seems like he can be almost as wild. His career BB/9 in the minors: 4.5. His career K/9 in the minors: 6.9. This is first full season above AA. Best of luck, Cubs!