Carlos Marmol blew another save yesterday, turning a 3-0 ninth-inning lead into a 4-3 loss to wipe away seven shutout innings from Matt Garza.
He was only in the game because Kevin Gregg had pitched four games in a row, but the former closer served up a walk-off three-run homer and afterward teammate Alfonso Soriano sounded pretty sick of watching Marmol:
When we have a 99 [percent] chance to win the game, it’s very tough the last inning. Three outs left and we lost the game. It’s unacceptable … It’s hard to swallow. We thought we swept those guys and had some momentum going to St. Louis. It’s not a good feeling.
And about Marmol specifically, Soriano told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:
I don’t know. It depends on him. He used to be good. I think he’s good, but he’s lost a little bit of his confidence, and this game is all about confidence. I hope he gets it back and becomes the Marmol I know.
Sullivan notes that Soriano “was as upset as he has been in his seven years in Chicago” and doesn’t normally go public with those type of quotes, but “he used to be good” is certainly an apt description of Marmol at this point. Of course, if Marmol was feeling chippy he could say the same thing about Soriano.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.