Friday, March 13, 2009

Real Cubs Discussion

This page has its problems with Jim Hendry. One of the primary areas where Hendry has left his teams thin has always been at bullpen. Going back to 2003, there's always been problems. Oh, he's tried to fill the pen with talent. But he always seems to overspend on mediocre players. Just think of all the money spent and pretty much wasted on Antonio Alfonseca, LaTroy Hawkins, Kent Mercker, Bobby Howry, and Scott Eyre.

Last year, Hendry didn't sign a closer per se. He just finally realized that Kerry Wood's arm had about 80 innings in it so Hendry put Wood in a role where he could contribute all year long.

For 2009, the options are Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg. Gregg blew a lot of saves last year, including a memorable one to the Cubs. Marmol has the arm, but one is uncertain if he's ready. Lou Piniella has an idea of how to tell if Marmol is ready:
"The biggest prerequisite of that job is you have to be able to bounce back from failure," Piniella said. "You're going to have to do it because nobody is immune. You have to be able to clear your mind and come back the next day to do your job.

"You don't like to see him give up a run like that, but look, it happens to any great pitcher. It's what you learn from it and how you respond to it [that matters]."

Many in the professional media are bothered that Marmol blew a save in the World Baseball Crapfest.

So what.

Marmol's not new to the majors. He's seen how closers operate. He's made big pitches. Don't baby him. Give him the job and let him have it for a long while. Like a month or two. See how he handles it. If he fails, you can move him back to primary setup and try Gregg. But seeing Gregg in the ninth is not a picture that I want to see.

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