Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Marmol out as Cubs' closer -- maybe for good

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ATLANTA - It took less than a week for Carlos Marmol to lose his closer job this time around. And this time, he might not be given a chance to get it back.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Sunday morning that former Japanese All-Star closer Kyuji Fujikawa will take over the closer role, and could be available as soon as Sunday afternoon's game against the Atlanta Braves - less than 24 hours after Marmol gave up a pair of ninth-inning home runs in a blown save and loss to the Braves.

"Hopefully, Fujikawa takes it and runs with it," Sveum said. "That's one of the reasons we signed him, in case something like this happened."

Fujikawa signed a two-year, $9.5 million deal over the winter, and the club insisted at the time he was a setup man and not signed to take Marmol's job.

If it wasn't Fujikawa, it would have been somebody else. Marmol left little choice after pitching poorly his final three outings of the spring and even worse his first three outings of the season - putting nine men on base, allowing five earned runs and retiring just four batters in that span.

Neither Marmol nor Fujikawa - who didn't pitch well his last outing, Saturday - have been told this is long-term, much less permanent.

Marmol is in the final year of a deal that pays him $9.8 million this year, and the club has long tried to trade him - backing out of a deal last fall that would have sent him to the Los Angeles Angels for pitcher Dan Haren after examining Haren's medical records.

"I don't know," Marmol said of getting a chance to return to his role. "The only thing I care about is winning here. If this is the way we've got to do it, let's do it. ...

"I'm good. My body's good. Everybody knows what I need to work on - locate my pitches. ... I'm not going to put my head down."

Said Fujikawa, through his interpreter: "My job is to pitch wherever I'm asked. I didn't have a good outing [Saturday], so I'm trying to go out there and be as positive as possible. it's a long season.

"I came into the season in the mindset as a setup guy, but once Marmol's condition gets better, he has a chance to come back. So we have to fight through it."

Told Sveum said the job could be his indefinitely, Fujikawa said, "I haven't heart that. But it's one game at a time. My job is to go out and do the best job possible for the team."

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Cubs Management, onfield and off field, and Executives would all be summarily brought up on charges had this change not been made and made today. This has been an unmitigated disaster having this man anywhere near a closing situation, let alone, even a ball park. There is something wrong with Marmol and now the whole world knows it. Is it possible he could be released on a Morals clause violation from the sexual assault charge this past off season on the DR?---is that case closed yet? Wave goodbye to an easy 10million on this guy---he's as done as any sore arm pitcher ever was.

No more long term deals with anyone from the DR ever again, OK Cubs?...Please?...Sosa, Soriano, Ramirez, Alou, Marmol, and a host of other slackers who sloughed off here and dogged it or cheated, while becoming long term multi millionaires. Something wrong with the water down there or something.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on April 7, 2013 10:24 AM.

More Cubs pitchers get on Braves GM's nerves was the previous entry in this blog.

Cubs' Sveum knows: "You can only have so much patience" is the next entry in this blog.

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