What to do with Carlos Marmol?

By Rob Willer

Carlos Marmol has been quite the story this year with his unsettling outings for the Cubs this year.

The only way Marmol will get back on track is to keep pitching, and that’s the Cubs’ plan. Marmol again struggled on Saturday, walking two and hitting another batter, and was the losing pitcher in a 6-4 loss to the Reds. Marmol has been used lately as the eighth-inning man but still hasn’t grasped his command and can’t locate his fastball. The right-hander, who lost his job as the Cubs closer after the first week of the season, now has walked 12, hit three batters and served up 11 hits over 11 2/3 innings. His ERA is an ugly 6.17.

One thing Marmol could have celebrated was that he has pitched in a franchise-record 453 games for the Cubs. He has absolutely no trade value at this point and was used Sunday as the first man out of the pen in the sixth inning where he retired the Reds in order. Since his contract is almost $10 million this year the Cubs would certainly have to pay a big portion of the contract to get a prospect to match his value.

Since Marmol and Shawn Camp have struggled it has put Dale Sveum in a tough spot since they only have seven relievers in the pen. James Russell is the only lefty in the pen, and it becomes a tough decision when to use him when the Cubs play a heavy lefty lineup like the Reds and Dodgers. Kameron Loe has also struggled giving up nine homeruns in 14 innings pitched. We’ll see what Sveum does as he doesn’t have very many options to correct the problem.

Upcoming Schedule: The Cubs continue their 10 game homestand with a makeup game against the Rangers and a two-game series with the Cardinals. The Cubs then hit the road to Washington D.C. for a three-game road trip. These next six games will be a tough test for the Cubs as they are playing three of the top 10 teams in the majors. I see the Cubs breaking the losing streak against the Rangers and splitting the series with the Cardinals. Also, my bold prediction for the week is the Cubs take two of three from the Washington Nationals as the offense will finally start to click.