Carlos Marmol out as Cubs closer

Updated: July 15, 2011, 7:49 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- After watching Carlos Marmol nearly blow another save on Friday, Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade said Marmol has lost the closer job for now.

"My sense is a couple of days," Quade said. "This is something I have to explore and think about for a while. My pitching people need to tell me what kind of mechanical work has to be done. So we're going to give him a couple of days. He's made 50 pitches (in the last two games). So he needs to go to work on this, knowing full well we're not going to use him."

Quade had contemplated giving Marmol a day off after the closer blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning against the Florida Marlins on Thursday night. The Cubs eventually lost 6-3. A day later, Marmol was back on the mound in the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead against the Marlins.

Marmol walked leadoff batter Omar Infante, and retired the next two hitters before Logan Morrison drove in Infante with an RBI single. Quade pulled Marmol and turned it over to Sean Marshall, who recorded his second save in a 2-0 Cubs' victory.

Marmol met with Quade in the manager's office for ten minutes after Friday's game.

"(Quade) said, 'Work hard and figure out some things,'" Marmol said. "Hopefully when I get back, I'll be the old Marmol."

Quade, who will mix and match with Marshall and Kerry Wood in the closer spot, would not guarantee a return to that role for Marmol.

"Not early on. Not early on," Quade said of Marmol closing games. "As much as I want to get him through this, I don't want to put him in a situation he's uncomfortable in."

Thursday's blown save was Marmol's major league-leading seventh. He walked four batters and give up a bases-loaded double to Greg Dobbs. Marmol was removed without retiring a batter. His ERA jumped from 2.57 to 3.64 after allowing five earned runs.

Marmol had blown saves in two of the previous three games. His seven blown saves are two more than he had during the entire 2010 season, when he saved 38 out of 43.

After posting a 0.60 ERA with six saves in June, Marmol has a 17.18 ERA with three saves and two blown saves in July.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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