The Indians signed former Cubs All-Star closer Carlos Marmol to a minor-league deal on Friday, and he will presumably report to Columbus this week.
Marmol spent the 2014 season getting shelled in Miami before being released and making a brief stop with Reds Triple-A affiliate.
Since he’s only 32 years old and has always been blessed with a live arm, there’s hope that Marmol has something to offer the Tribe’s bullpen. Unfortunately, Marmol has never been able to consistently harness that arm and throw strikes.
Marmol’s career peaked during his All-Star campaign in 2009 when he managed a BB/9 of 4.2. But in the six seasons since, his BB/9 has been at 6.8 and hasn’t dropped below 5.8 in any single season.
Marmol is a two-pitch pitcher with a slider, which he favors, and a fastball that averages around 93 miles per hour.
Even while struggling over the past three seasons, Marmol has generated as an opponent’s batting average of .194 against his slider. The issue, however, is that he throws it for a strike just 47 percent of the time and opponents chase just 33 percent of those pitches.
There’s almost no chance that Marmol becomes a long-term weapon in the Indians bullpen, but it’s a great signing given the low cost.
If Marmol gets hot in Columbus there’s a chance that could carry over to some short-term success in Cleveland.
His history has shown that he’ll lose the strike zone again, but it’s also shown that he’s capable of harnessing his stuff for short stints.