Cubs pitching coach on Carlos Marmol: It’s his delivery
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org September 27, 2011 10:48PM
Updated: November 11, 2011 4:31PM
SAN DIEGO — When it comes to Carlos Marmol’s command issues this season, and escalating contract issues the next two, the Cubs have a simple response:
‘‘He’s our closer,’’ pitching coach Mark Riggins said.
And when it comes to those who say Marmol needs to go back to a setup role or to another team, the response is almost as clear from Marmol:
‘‘I don’t care what other people say,’’ said Marmol, whose $20 million closer contract he signed in the spring includes $7 million and $9.8 million salaries the next two years. ‘‘I don’t care about me. I try to do the best I can every time I go out there and give 100 percent, no matter what. And I’ve got my confidence.’’
He also has a 4.07 ERA and a major-league-high 10 blown saves.
‘‘He just has to focus on working on his delivery and making it consistent,’’ Riggins said. ‘‘When he starts throwing in January and getting ready in spring training, it’s got to be a focus for him.’’
And if the problems persist?
‘‘You’re not given everything here; it’s based on performance,’’ Riggins said. ‘‘He’s our closer. He’s just got to [maintain] the consistency next year. He knows it.’’
My cousin Rami
Aramis Ramirez knows better than most what kind of value the White Sox would get in their looming trade with the Marlins for Ozzie Guillen. Ramirez’s cousin is the Dominican scout who signed pitching prospect Jhan Marinez.
‘‘I know the kid pretty well,’’ Ramirez said. ‘‘It was a good trade. The kid throws 98. . . . But it’s still weird. You don’t see that [manager-for-players trade] too often.’’
Ramirez returned to the lineup Tuesday, one week after aggravating a quad injury. He homered in the fourth inning of the Cubs’ 6-2 win.
It wasn’t the season he envisioned when he took the mound on Opening Day, but Ryan Dempster gets a chance at having the last say of the season for the Cubs on Wednesday — and when he gets the first out of the fourth inning, a fourth straight 200-inning season.
‘‘All it means is you stayed healthy,’’ Dempster said. ‘‘That’s why it’s always a goal of mine. It means you’re going out there and making a lot of starts. More important, I want to help us win another game.’’
◆ Carlos Pena is only the 10th player in the 136-year history of the franchise to walk at least 100 times in a season — only the fourth in the last 80 years and first since Sammy Sosa did it in 2001 and ’02.