Carlos Marmol implodes again

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UPDATE: The bullpen choke is complete. Rafael Dolis stayed on to pitch the 10th and the Reds won it on a sacrifice fly. After a Dolis throwing error, of course.  Bad day for the Cubbies.

3:29 PM: As this post goes up the Cubs-Reds game is still going on.  But it shouldn’t be. And for that, we have Carlos Marmol to thank. Or blame, if you’re so inclined.

Ryan Dempster shut out the Reds for eight innings and Carlos Marmol took the hill in the ninth with a 3-0 lead. Then this happened:

  • Walk
  • Walk
  • Fielder’s choice/error, a runner scores
  • Single to load the bases
  • Walk, a runner scores

And with that it was 3-2 Cubs.  Rafael Dolis then came in to relieve Marmol, induced a run-scoring double play and then struck out the next batter he faced. It’s 3-3 in extra innings as this one goes to press.

Marmol is a hot mess right now.  As Dave Cameron just pointed out on Twitter, he has walked over 25% of the batters he has faced this year.  That’s just not acceptable.  Something’s gotta change.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.