The Red Sox announced today that they’ve signed right-hander Carlos Marmol to a minor league deal with an invite to Major League Spring Training. He’ll compete for a spot alongside Koji Uehara and Carson Smith as a right-handed setup option for Craig Kimbrel.
Marmol, 33, made a name for himself as the Cubs’ closer from 2009-12, posting gaudy strikeout numbers that helped to cover up highly suspect control. In that stretch, Marmol saved 107 games and recorded a 3.33 ERA with 12.9 K/9 but a woeful 6.7 BB/9 rate. As Marmol’s strikeout rate dipped, so too did his effectiveness. Marmol averaged a sky-high 7.3 walks per nine innings in 2012 and repeated that number in a 2013 season that was split between the Cubs and Dodgers. His last Major League action came in 2014, when he tossed 13 1/3 innings with the Marlins. That season, Marmol yielded an 8.10 ERA and posted a 14-to-10 K/BB ratio before the club cut ties with him.
Marmol spent the 2015 season with Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, where he posted a brilliant 2.03 ERA in 31 innings but showed the same control issues that have plagued him throughout his career, walking 27 batters in those 31 frames (albeit, against an impressive 48 strikeouts). The problem continued in the Dominican Winter League, where he walked a dozen hitters in seven innings. It’s unlikely that he’ll ever take a meaningful step forward in terms of control, but Marmol’s penchant for missing bats means he’ll likely continue to get opportunities, at least as a depth option.
Please tell me his walk out music for Cleveland was going to be “Wild Thing.”
That would’ve been awesome, although in fairness I think that Ricky Vaughn had better control than Marmol does lol
Lol for sure
Blah blah blah
Talk about an enigma
His stuff is electric. If he can show control he can be a great add to anyones’
pitching staff. Just can’t seem to find the plate in big moments.
That’s a big problem though. There’s a decent number of pitchers out there with electric stuff, but if they can’t find the plate then they’re too much of a wild card to help the team. One of the few exceptions to this rule was Nolan Ryan. But Ryan also set a career record for smallest H/9 and walked 1.5 less per 9 innings than Marmol.
It brings to mind memories of Red Sox past like Daniel Bard, who seemed to lose his control overnight when they tried to start him. I can’t think of an example of a pitcher with control issues like Marmol turning it around after such a long track record. As long as the electricity is there though so will a shot with a minor league deal.
Bard started losing his control the year before he became a starter. He just finished losing it as a starter.
Sandy Koufax was the same way. It took him seven years to become THAT Sandy Koufax….but he was 18 when signed and the Dodgers never gave up on him. Koufax even asked to be traded in 1961.
The road to baseball hell is paved with “if he could show control”
tyson ross falls into the electris stuff but wild category
No hitter should ever be swinging at Marmol’s pitches, its rare he’ll ever get 2 in a row in the zone, but getting 3 in the zone before hitting 4 out will never happen. Its the nastiest slider in the league, so its not like you’re gonna make good contact anyways.
No Soup For Yu!
Here’s something I found interesting. Through 2008, in both the minors and the majors, Marmol’s walk rate was a not terrible 4.0 BB/9. Ever since 2008, his walk rate has been an atrocious 7.0 BB/9. Marmol was almost exclusively a starter through 2006 so maybe that’s part of it, but even after shifting to a relief role he still maintained a walk rate of 4.4 BB/9 from 2007-2008 as a reliever in the majors. I’m just wondering how Marmol’s control could have deteriorated so rapidly when he had previously maintained tenable walk rates in the two full seasons prior to 2009, the season where his walk rate jumped to 7.9 BB/9.
Sox wouldn’t even give Jorge marban an invite to MLB camp and his stuff plays way up there also, yet can be wild and here they go and give Marmol a MiLB deal, to be pitching along side of both Pat Light and Marmol at Pawtucket in 2016? What are Light and marmol supposed to learn from Marmol? How NOT to pitch to batter’s if and when you do manage to get them down 0-2 in the count?
Great signing. No risk high reward. Give the guy a shot to redeem himself. If he can’t so be it