By Todd Farino, The Closer Report
The Chicago Cubs are under new management and have a new coach. That means that all Cub fans can believe in their beloved Cubs, at least until June.
Hopefully this change will make the Cubs closer Carlos Marmol a pitcher more consistent pitcher. Marmol has all the tools a great closer needs, except one. Control. Last year Marmol’s BB/9 was a whopping 5.84. That is excessive for a closer, but the real impact isn’t just a Sabermetric calculation. The real impact is confidence. Once he starts walking players, Marmol tries to aim, target, and bullseye the strike zone. That hardly works. The good news is, Marmol has improved his BB/9 in each of the past three seasons and this year he will be the veteran barrier of 500 innings. At 29, Marmol will hit his stride and have a breakout season with a revamped Chicago Cub team.
The only concern I see with Marmol this year is how many Ks will he get? In 2010 he had 138, but that sank to 99 in 2011. Again, it comes down to confidince and when you throw a wicked slider like Marmol does, confidence is everything. If he controls that pitch, expect 100+ strikeouts and his BB/9 to continue to improve. Despite his 10 blown saves in 2011 and his career conversion rate of 81%, Marmol is an elite closer and should be treated as such by fantasy managers.
The Closer Report 2012 Projections: 40 Sv – 3 Wins – 2.96 ERA – 1.17 WHIP – 120 Ks
2012 Fantasy Draft Analysis:
Marmol is a closer that you can get much later in the draft compared to where I have him ranked. His ADP will fluctuate draft to draft, but expect to find Marmol popping up in the 13th or 14th round. Get him there.