The Cubs came into 2012 knowing that they were in an early stage of the rebuilding phase, not expected to win many games or make the playoffs. That outlook is still the same.
Jeff Samardzija moved from the bullpen to the rotation, Carlos Marmol continued his slump of awful pitching and Kerry Wood retired after making ten outings and blowing two saves. The Cubs have relied on James Russell (1.89 ERA), Shawn Camp (3.09 ERA) and Rafael Dolis (3.75 ERA).
Dolis has taken over for Marmol as the Cubs’ closer and has saved four of the six games he has been tasked to save. His ERA looks above average for a reliever, but his 1.17 WHIP and .210 opposing batting average are excellent. Unfortunately, Dolis has given up eleven walks while striking out only nine, a pitiful ratio for a closer.
Carlos Marmol was much worse, only converting half of the four save opportunities given, while recording an unusual 6.35/2.21/.205 line.
Marmol clearly is not the best closer for the Cubs, nor is Dolis. League would be a welcomed addition to Chicago’s weak and consistently weakening bullpen for the remainder of the season and likely for the future.
The Mariners have several young relievers that should compete for the closer’s role this year and in the near future, but the Cubs have nearly nobody to fill the ninth inning, and League is young enough to be a part of Theo Epstein’s rebuilding.