Mike Quade just announced that Carlos Marmol is back to being the Cubs’ closer, meaning his break/demotion from the role lasted all of a week and included just one non-closer appearance.
Marmol walked two batters in a scoreless inning against the Phillies on Monday, but also recorded two strikeouts after failing to strike out a single hitter in any of his previous six outings, which is obviously a huge red flag for the all-time leader in single-season strikeout rate.
Along with the lack of strikeouts Marmol has walked eight of the last 17 batters he’s faced, but Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that pitching coach Mark Riggins is confident they have his mechanics straightened out after some side sessions.
Marmol has 19 saves on the season, but leads the league with seven blown saves and hasn’t successfully converted a save since July 9.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.