After Kevin Gregg gave up 4 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, Lou Piniella announced that "I think we're going to make some changes as far as what we're going to do in late innings." The problem is, if Gregg is not going to be the closer, then who is?
Lets take a look at the potential candidates:
Carlos Marmol - After losing the closer battle to Gregg in spring training, Marmol has had mechanical issues/control problems all year. He's walked 52 batters in 56.1 innings so far this year. Marmol certainly has electric stuff, as his 67 K's can attest, however until he solves his command issues, he probably cannot be counted on to close out the ninth.
John Grabow - Since being acquired by the Cubs at the trade deadline, Grabow has pitched 7 scoreless innings. Overall, he has a 2.98 ERA on the year. However, he does not have overpowering stuff and he is lefthanded, usually not what managers look for in a closer.
Angel Guzman - He's been one of the Cubs most consistent relievers all season, posting a 2.42 ERA in 52 innings. But he's still young and unproven and Piniella may want a veteran handling the closing duties.
Kevin Gregg - For what its worth, Gregg says he still believes in his stuff. Problem is no one else does. Gregg could still be in the mix for saves if Piniella goes to the dreaded "closer-by-committee". However, he will no longer be the primary closer.
Jeff Samardzija - A longshot, Samardzija has closer-type stuff and mentality, but he has not pitched well on the major league level. So, although he may end up being the Cubs closer of the future, chances are the future is not now.
So there you have it. Not a strong list to choose from, but it is what it is. If I had to choose, I would go with Guzman for now and, if the Cubs completely fall out of the race, try Samardzija as the closer and see what he can do.
Chances are that Piniella will probably go with a comittee approach, based on matchups. So, Grabow, Marmol, Gregg and Guzman could all be in line for saves down the stretch. Frustrating fantasy baseball players everywhere.