After celebrating a Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory last night, some Chicago sports fans received even more pleasant news today.
The Cubs designated reliever Carlos Marmol for assignment Tuesday, meaning the club has 10 days to trade or release him.
That’s right Cubs fans, breathe a sigh of relief. Carlos Marmol’s time on the North Side of Chicago has finally come to an end.
Marmol had made only one appearance since blowing a save June 16 against the Mets at Citi Field. The Cubs entered the bottom of the ninth inning in that game with a 3-0 lead only to see Marmol surrender home runs by Marlon Byrd and Kirk Nieuwenhuis that gave the Mets a 4-3 win.
That outing now appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Marmol had already been removed from the closer position in April after struggling during the first week of the season. Marmol blew three saves this season, while only earning two saves on his way to a having a 5.86 ERA and a lackluster 1.70 WHIP, his worst statistical season since his rookie year in 2006.
The decision by the Cubs front office is also likely a move to save face after hearing endless complaints from fans about Marmol over the last couple of seasons, culminating in his subpar performance in 2013. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer had told the Chicago Tribune last week that the team did not intend to release the reliever.
Marmol told ESPNdeportes.com Tuesday that the negative fan reaction helped contribute to his struggles.
“Every time I go to the mound I try to give one hundred percent, all I got, I didn’t fail for lack of effort,” Marmol said. “I would say that the lack of support from the fans was part of the reason of the mental block that I suffered recently.”
It may be surprising to recall that Marmol was named to the 2008 NL All-Star team, a season where he earned a career-high 30 holds. But those days are long gone for the 30-year-old.
The Cubs now have 10 days to trade him, an unlikely possibility given his performance this year. If he clears waivers after those 10 days, he could be asked to be sent to the minors or become a free agent, which is the more likely scenario.
The team also announced the release of third baseman Ian Stewart Tuesday. Stewart, who had played for Triple-A Iowa this season, had been serving a 10-game suspension after criticizing the Cubs on Twitter on June 10.
Stewart replied to a tweet asking him if he would be back with the Cubs soon by stating “probably not.” He then tweeted: “I said that be because the cubs are done With me….there going to let me Rott in AAA all season and then non tender me after.” He followed that by posting: “I meant they might as Well release since I have no shot of a call up….let me Sign elsewhere.”
Well, you got your wish Ian.
The third baseman had batted only .168 with five home runs and 20 RBIs this year in Des Moines. I don’t know how many organizations would find those numbers very appealing, but at least he’s satisfied.
The Cubs have called up outfielder Brian Bogusevic to take Marmol’s spot on the big league roster. Bogusevic comes to Chicago with major league experience after playing 252 games with the Houston Astros between 2010 and 2012. He has batted an impressive .319 this season in Iowa with 10 homers and 32 RBIs. His presence in the outfield should be much welcomed with David DeJesus still on the DL.
A busy day of roster moves that included the departures of reviled Carlos Marmol and a distracting Ian Stewart should help ease the minds of Cubs fans.