Carlos Marmol Settles Into Set-Up Man Role, Again.

Colby PashContributor IMay 2, 2009

PHOENIX - APRIL 29:  Relief pitcher Carlos Marmol #49 of the Chicago Cubs attempts a pick off against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at Chase Field on April 29, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 10-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Cubs' Nation has high hopes that reliever and All-Star Carlos Marmol has gotten his 'stuff' back. Marmol's documented early-season struggles on the mound can easily be blamed on the World Baseball Classic.

He might has well be the poster boy for WBC-related slow starts. It can be said that his mechanics have lost their polish by missing coveted spring game experiences and opportunities to workout any bugs in his delivery. His arm slot has dropped a few inches from since last season.

But... what if he's just off to a slow start? His strikeout numbers are down (10 K in 10 IP), his walk numbers are up (11 BB in 10 IP), and he's already hit 3 batsman. But it hasn't been uncommon for Carlos Marmol to be a touch wild before settling into a dominant role in the mid-season.

And let's be honest with ourselves, Cubs Nation, Carlos Marmol is not a big issue with the team right now. Geovany Soto is off to a horrible start, but hopefully starting to emerge and Milton Bradley is having similar issues.

So far Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, the Cajun Connection (Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot) and Carlos Zambrano's mo-hawk have been enough to carry the team's early struggles and save them from destitution.

There is still plenty of time for Carlos Marmol. Kevin Gregg hasn't been too impressive, but he's filling the insurance role he was brought in to fill. Let's face it, he got the save spot by default.

If Marmol gets locked in and Gregg begins to struggle, Lou won't hesitate (too long, anyway) to re-assign the closer role.