The Chicago Cubs have cut loose former closer Carlos Marmol whom outfielder Afonso Soriano pegged last week as being a formerly good pitcher.
Marmol, has an earned run average pushing six because he walks too darned many batters. He's allowed 1.7 base runners via hit or walk in 27 2/3 innings of work. But he's only allowed a respectable 26 hits during that time.
The problem is that when the hits come they are at inopportune times and of the particularly long variety.
Marmol has allowed an average of two homers per nine innings. But the final straw came last week when he blew a three-run lead in the ninth by allowing two homers in the same frame.
I'm not sure if the Cardinals are in the salvaging pitchers off the scrap heap business anymore. That was sort of a Dave Duncan thing. And while Duncan's successor as pitching coach, Derek Lilliquist, has done a great job of keeping the several rookies who have toed the rubber for the Redbirds this year in tune, he's had less success helping out veterans who seem to have lost their touch. (See: Mitchell Boggs. Victor Marte and Marc Rzepczynski.)
Still, Marmol is only 30 years old and he appears to be healthy. If a team could iron out the flaws in his mechanics, he could be a cheap and valuable piece of a major league bullpen. The Cardinals could use a little bit of bullpen depth. But what they don't need is another problem in the bullpen.