Come To Think Of It: Kevin Gregg Implosions Spark Cubs Closer Controversy

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IAugust 3, 2009

Another day, another blown save.

That's the life of one Kevin Gregg, who led major league baseball in blown saves last year.

After a nice stretch of uncharacteristic reliability from Gregg, he has returned to Florida, where he pitched in 2007 and 2008, and has blown the lead in two consecutive games.

On Saturday, the Cubs came back and won, so all is forgiven.

But on Sunday, Gregg coughed up the lead once again, and then served up the game winning, walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth.

It was Dan Uggla. It was damn ugly.

It also served as a poignant reminder to the Florida Marlins as to why they got rid of Gregg.

Most guys return to the team that traded them with a chip on their shoulder. They often do well because they have extra motivation to show their former team that they made a mistake.

Well, in this case the only mistake that was made was when Jim Hendry acquired this poor excuse for a closer.

Though Kerry Wood is having a rough season in Cleveland, one would think that $140 million could buy a decent closer. But I guess money just doesn't go as far as it used to, eh?

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As Bob Brenly said after the game, it was a "horrible" loss, not just because they blew the lead, but because it will once again raise the debate of who should be the Cubs closer.

Carlos Marmol misses bats, and opponents are only hitting .159 off of him. But his command is lacking. He has walked 48 in 51 innings.

Still, I would release Gregg and go with Marmol. At least he has upside, and has a true strike out pitch when that devastating slider is working.

If you recall, back in Spring, Lou Piniella had decided that Gregg had beaten out Marmol for the closer role. And, judging by the pure numbers, he was right.

Marmol had pitched in the Dominican playoffs and the World Baseball Classic. Still, Gregg technically out pitched him in Cubs camp.

But enough is enough. We know what Gregg can do, or, more accurately, what he cannot do.

It's time to see what Marmol can do as the Cubs closer. Unless BJ Ryan has suddenly returned to form, promoting Marmol is the only logical decision at this point.

We all expect Marmol to be a closer someday. Come to think of it, why not now?

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