• The Carlos Marmol saga in Chicago comes to an end as he was designated for assignment today. The Cubs now have 10 days to trade Marmol, but considering they’ve been trying that for parts of two or more seasons, I don’t think that’s a possibility. Carlos Marmol has been the Adam Dunn of pitching with a fantastic 29.8% career K% but with all those swings and misses were the bases on balls of course (15.5% BB%). For a brief stretch Marmol was one of the better fantasy closers in the game. Although his ERA and WHIP were never elite, he struck out 138 batters in 2010 with a 2.55 ERA. Marmol slipped since then and has never reached that peak, bottoming out in 2013 with a 5.86 ERA and 6.16 FIP. If someone else picks him up, it should at least be intriguing watching him the feast or famine from Marmol.
It’s strange to say, but Kevin Gregg‘s cemented as the Cubs closer (until he gets traded) and behind him to see the late innings is James Russell, as well as Blake Parker . James Russell has been solid all season although he’s struggled against right-handed hitting with .346 wOBA against them thus far. Blake Parker’s only thrown 9.2 innings this year but he’s been effective with a 3.16 xFIP and a 10.24 K/9. There is trade interest in Kevin Gregg as we mentioned and if he’s gone, Parker is someone to keep an eye on for potential saves.
• On to some rehab news, Rafael Betancourt is returning Friday to the Rockies and .J. Putz threw his third straight scoreless inning on his minor league rehab stint. With Heath Bell struggling at closer and David Hernandez having a little bit of a let down year compared to 2012, J.J. Putz should have little trouble reclaiming his familiar ninth inning role in Arizona once he returns. Rafael Betancourt will receive the save opportunities right when he’s back in Colorado, but with Rex Brothers converting saves in his absence, his leash might be a little shorter if he were to struggle at first.
• Steve Cishek threw his ninth consecutive scoreless inning tonight for his 13th save of the season tonight. At one point Cishek was apparently in a closer-by-committee in
Arizona Miami but he’s pitched well enough (3.56 xFIP) to have a firm grasp on the role now. It’s unlikely someone in Miami takes over for Cishek due to performance, Cishek could be involved in a trade
• Elsewhere in closer news, Mariano Rivera picked up his first win on the season, Jim Johnson notched his league leading 27th save, Rafael Soriano untucked his shirt for the 20th time, Kimbrel struck out two for save 22 and Addison Reed took his owners on a roller coaster, blowing his third save only to pick up his third win.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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