The Reds sign Carlos Marmol to a minor league deal

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The Marlins released Carlos Marmol a week or so ago after he posted an 8.10 ERA and walked ten guys in 13 innings while losing three games across 15 appearances. Now someone else has taken a chance on him: the Reds, who Jon Heyman reports have signed Marmol to a minor league deal.

Marmol is just 31, but his downward trajectory has been steep. His control stinks so badly that, in order to be effective, he basically has to throw the ball by everyone and rack up the strikeouts. He still does that well by most guys’ standards, but not at the level he needs to be doing it. His yearly strikeouts per nine innings have dropped from 16.0 to 12.0 to 11.7 to 10.8 to 9.5 since 2010.

No risk here for Cincinnati, but little chance of reward either.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”