Carlos Marmol
Carlos Marmol
37-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Carlos Marmol in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Released by Boston in March 2016.
PBoston Red Sox  
March 28, 2016
Marmol was released by the Red Sox on Monday.
ANALYSIS
Marmol signed a minor league deal with Boston in February but failed to impress in spring training, issuing seven walks in four innings of Grapefruit League play. The 33-year-old, who spent last season with the Indians organization, will look to land on his feet elsewhere, but his career as a dependable reliever may be close to over.
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Marmol received a much-needed change of scenery last year, being dealt from the Cubs to the Dodgers in June after posting a 5.86 ERA in Chicago. Marmol improved somewhat in Los Angeles with a 2.53 ERA in 21.1 innings, but he's one example on why teams and fantasy owners need to look beyond ERA. In those innings, Marmol walked 19, and that's not what you want out of any reliever, much less a closer. Marmol's 10.8 K/9 in 2014 will get him a look in some team's camp, but anything more than a minor league contract will be an overpay.
Marmol got off to an awful start, lost the closer role and went on the DL with a hamstring injury before getting his job back in mid-June. From June until the end of the year, he was his usual self, walking too many batters, but posting a 2.72 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 43 innings. Moreover, Marmol's fastball velocity came back - he averaged 94 mph, the same velocity he had in his stellar 2010 season, up from 92 mph in 2011. For now, he's the team's closer (with competition from free-agent addition Kyuji Fujikawa), though he was nearly traded to the Angels for Dan Haren in November, so the Cubs may be trying to sell high during the last year of his three-year, $20 million deal.
After showing ungodly dominance (16.0 K/9IP) in 2010, Marmol crashed to earth last year. The problem for Marmol, as always, was the walk rate - still nearly 6.0 BB/9IP - but he could no longer get away with it as his strikeout rate plummeted to a merely elite 12.0 K/9IP. The lesson here is you don't have to worry about walks if your pitcher is striking out batters at a historically high rate. But such rates are unsustainable for any pitcher, and walks do matter even with normal elite strikeout rates. Another reason for the dropoff was a significant velocity decline (from 94 to 92 mph on his average fastball), perhaps as a result of his major-league high 313 relief appearances since 2008. Marmol lost his closer job to Sean Marshall briefly last year, but at press time, he's still the incumbent, provided the team doesn't try to move him.
If you're facing Carlos Marmol, try and work a walk. It's pretty much your only hope. Marmol struck out an ungodly 16.0 K/9IP last year and allowed just one home run in 77.2 IP. Put differently, he allowed a .154 batting average against, and that's only because he had a .325 BABIP. The way to get to Marmol is with the free pass - he issued a whopping 52 of them last season. As long as the strikeout rate stays extremely high (maybe not 16, but even 12-plus), Marmol should be okay most of the time. But if the command doesn't get better, and the strikeout rate drops even to regular elite closer levels, he'll be living dangerously. Nonetheless, he's the team's undisputed closer, a great source of strikeouts from a reliever and would have to implode significantly before Kerry Wood (or anyone else) gets a shot.
Marmol began the season in a setup role behind Kevin Gregg, but eventually claimed the closer job when Gregg couldn't keep the ball in the park. Marmol had his own problems, however, walking an ungodly 65 batters in 74 innings. Even after took over the closer job, he walked nearly a batter an inning, though he converted all 12 of his save opportunities down the stretch. Of course, Marmol was almost unhittable all year with 94 strikeouts. Unlike the last two years, Marmol will head into camp as the team's undisputed closer, but he's a high-risk/high-reward pick who could dominate or implode at any point. If Marmol were to falter, Angel Guzman (provided he stays healthy) is the most likely candidate to take over the job.
When Marmol's on, he's as untouchable as any reliever in the game, alternating between a 95 mph fastball and a sharp-breaking slider. Marmol struck out 114 batters in 87.1 innings last year, but he struggled with his command in June and July which boosted his walk rate. He also served up 10 home runs which is not surprising given his flyball tendencies. With Kerry Wood moving on to Cleveland via free agency, Marmol is the frontrunner to take over the closer job in 2009 despite the Cubs' acquisition of Kevin Gregg.
The hard-throwing righty had an impressive year out of the bullpen in 2007, striking out a whopping 96 batters in just 69 and a third innings. His command could stand to improve, and he still gives up far too many flyballs (0.5 G/F), but when you're missing that many bats, there aren't going to be a lot of baserunners against you. Heading into 2008, Marmol will likely be sharing the closer role with Bobby Howry and Kerry Wood, but any of the three could emerge as the sole closer either in spring training or at some point during the season.
Marmol was pressed into major league duty before he was ready thanks to injuries to the Cubs starters last season. The results weren't pretty. Too many walks and far too few ground balls were the culprits. Marmol's got a live arm, but he belongs in the high minors for the foreseeable future. We suspect he'll stay there until September, barring another rash of injuries.
A converted catcher with a live arm, Marmol pitched well at High-A and Double-A a year ago striking out roughly a batter an inning at each stop. He'll need to cut down the walks to succeed as he climbs the ladder, but he's still learning and will be interesting to watch if he adds some polish.
More Fantasy News
PBoston Red Sox  
March 11, 2016
Marmol resolved his visa issues and is back in Boston's camp, the Boston Herald reports. He's expected to throw in camp Friday.
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PBoston Red Sox  
Personal
March 6, 2016
Marmol will be away from camp for Monday and Tuesday "to get his visa squared away," according to Red Sox manager John Farrell, the Boston Herald reports.
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PBoston Red Sox  
February 19, 2016
Brian Bannister, Boston's director of pitching analysis and development, plans to have Marmol change his arm angle from an over-the-top delivery he's used in recent years to a three-quarters delivery, the Boston Globe reports. "The velocity is still there," said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. "We think some mechanical changes can make a difference."
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PBoston Red Sox  
February 16, 2016
Marmol signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox on Tuesday that includes an invite to spring training, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
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PCleveland Indians  
May 8, 2015
Marmol signed a minor league contract with the Indians on Friday.
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