Let's face it, Carlos Marmol is having a tough Spring. In 5.1 IP, he has allowed 7 hits, 4 walks, 3 hit batters and 7 earned runs. Sounds more like a pitching line from Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh that that of the Cubs closer.
To add injury to insult, Marmol was removed from yesterday's outing due to cramping in his hand. Marmol was sent for a precautionary MRI, which, according to Carrie Muskat, revealed no nerve damage.
So, what is the cause of Marmol's struggles? Well, if the MRI is correct, we can rule out a hidden injury. Perhaps its just a matter of Carlos readjusting after scrapping his cutter and, to be fair, he has made 3 straight scoreless appearances.
Let's face it, Marmol is probably going to be a hot and cold pitcher for his entire career. He goes through periods where he cannot find the plate and then others where he is lights out. He will probably give Manager Dale Sveum and Pitching Coach Chris Bosio ulcers before its all said and done and its quite possible that he could be traded this July.
For now though, I wouldn't be too concerned about Marmol. It is still spring after all and the stats don't mean as much as getting your work in. But, if his struggles carry over into the regular season, perhaps its time to start auditioning new pitchers for the closer role, as Marmol should not be in the Cubs long-term plans.