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Carlos Marmol out as Cubs closer; now it’s closer by committee

Former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

Former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 5, 2012 12:16PM

The Cubs will use a “closer by committee” formula to replace struggling closer Carlos Marmol, who was told Friday morning he had lost the role.

Lefty James Russell, the only lefthander in manager Dale Sveum’s bullpen, is likely to get many of the potential assignments to close games, but Sveum said ninth-inning situations and matchups will dictate whom he summons to close.

“Russell or [Rafael] Dolis, we’ll find out,” Sveum said Friday. “I called Carlos into the office this morning and told him he’s no longer the closer. I told him to be ready to pitch at any time.

“It got to the point where we have to get him productive [pitching]. We have to get him productive again to get him back to that [closer] role.”

Marmol blew a three-run lead in the ninth on Thursday in Cincinnati, his second blown save this season after struggling much of last season. He had dominant seasons in the past, including in 2008, and has been an All-Star.

He did save a game on Wednesday in Cincinnati, but his inconsistency has been a quandary for the team.

“It’s something you never want to see happen,” Russell said of Marmol’s struggles. “They say the last three outs are the hardest to get, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Carlos for the most part has handled it really well. You have to go about it like any three outs. You have to go out and make your pitches.”

The Cubs opened a three-game series Friday with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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