Carlos Marmol (wildly) returns to mound in non-closer role

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Stripped of closing duties last week following back-to-back ugly appearances, Carlos Marmol returned to the mound last night and successfully pitched the ninth inning of a 6-1 victory for the Cubs.

However, it wasn’t exactly a flawless appearance, as Marmol walked two of the five batters he faced and threw just 15 of 29 pitches for strikes.

The good news is that he got swinging strikeouts on both Ryan Howard and John Mayberry Jr. after the right-hander with the best single-season strikeout rate in MLB history whiffed zero batters in his previous six games.

After the game Marmol talked about studying video of his mechanics with pitching coach Mark Riggins, saying: “I feel great right now.”

His return to the closer role will have to wait, however, as manager Mike Quade indicated that it’ll take more than one scoreless but walk-filled outing to reclaim ninth-inning duties from Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood.

Nick Senzel to miss a few weeks due to ankle injury

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Reds prospect Nick Senzel will miss at least the next few weeks due to a sprained right ankle, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Senzel suffered the injury in a minor league game on Monday, sliding into second base.

Last week, the Reds reassigned Senzel to minor league camp. His agent, Joel Wolfe, called it an “egregious case of service time manipulation.” The matter has been cleanly resolved with the injury, not unlike Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.

Senzel, 23, is the Reds’ No. 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He was getting work in center field this spring after playing second and third base last year (and even a game at shortstop) in the minors. With Triple-A Louisville, Senzel hit .310/.378/.509 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 193 plate appearances.