Chicago Cubs Fantasy Baseball Closer Information and Depth Chart
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|CHC||Pedro Strop||Kevin Gregg||Blake Parker||Pedro Strop||9/22/13|
September 22, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Pedro Strop struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning while picking up his first save of the season. The Cubs want to see what they have with Strop so he should continue to see the save opportunities for the rest of the season. No hierarchy change.
September 19, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Although the Kevin Gregg era was astonishingly successful in Chicago, the Cubs are looking ahead to next season and have announced that Pedro Strop will close over the last 10 games. Hierarchy change: Pedro Strop to Closer, Kevin Gregg to Set-Up.
July 31, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Kevin Gregg’s final showcase appearance before the trade deadline ended in disaster; he loaded the bases and gave up a two-run single to blow what could be his final save opportunity as a Cub. Frog, meet scorpion. No hierarchy change.
July 22, 2013
Chicago Cubs – For a “good time on the mound,” Dale Sveum plans to call on Pedro Strop to be the Cubs’ new closer if Kevin Gregg heads elsewhere this month, as expected. Hierarchy change: Pedro Strop to Set-up, Blake Parker to 2nd in line.
July 18, 2013
Chicago Cubs – 35-year-old Kevin Gregg is one of the hottest arms available at the deadline, just as everyone predicted in April. If Gregg leaves Chicago, Blake Parker stands ready to take advantage of the opportunity to close. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: BUY+ Blake Parker.
July 15, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Pedro Strop got out of a tight situation in the 6th inning last night, and was briefly in line for the win until Matt Guerrier blew the save the following inning. Strop, so dominant for the Orioles in the first half last year, is trying to regain his form in Chicago, and the early returns are good: He’s now pitched 6 scoreless innings for the Cubs, allowing only 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. Kevin Gregg did the Cubs no favors by imploding in the 9th last night, but if he’s dealt, Strop has an outside chance to inherit the 9th inning. Hierarchy change: Pedro Strop to 2nd in line, replacing Matt Guerrier.
July 7, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Recently acquired Matt Guerrier pitched two perfect innings last night ahead of Kevin Gregg to pick up his first hold since being traded to the Cubs. Hierarchy change: Matt Guerrier to 2nd in line, replacing James Russell.
July 3, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Following the trade of Scott Feldman, the Cubs announced that Carlos Villanueva would be headed back to the rotation. As Kevin Gregg draws interest from other teams, that makes Blake Parker an intriguing sleeper option for saves, come trade deadline time. He might be worth rostering in deeper leagues. Hierarchy change: Blake Parker to Set-up, James Russell to 2nd in line.
June 30, 2013
Chicago Cubs - Blake Parker earned his first career save on Saturday night. Kevin Gregg had already blown a one run lead in the 9th and Carlos Villanueva pitched the 10th inning in a tie game. Parker has pitched well since getting called up and could be an option to close when Gregg is unavailable. Hierarchy change: Blake Parker to 2nd in line, replacing James Russell.
June 28, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Blake Parker wasn’t given much rope on Thursday, as he was yanked a game the Cubs were leading by 5 after giving up a solo HR. He’d only retired one batter. Parker was impressive in AAA, but early indications are that Carlos Villanueva might be the man who the Cubs trust in 8th inning hold situations. He got the call in a one-run game on Wednesday. Hierarchy change: Carlos Villanueva to Set-up, replacing Blake Parker.
June 26, 2013
Chicago Cubs – 23 revelers were arrested Tuesday in Wrigleyville; we assume their riotous celebration was inspired by early word of Carlos Marmol’s demotion. With James Russell still the only lefty in the Cubs pen and Dale Sveum loath to use him in the ninth, we’re ready to predict that Blake Parker — with seven saves at AAA Iowa and great numbers in eight June appearances with the big club — takes on a larger role. Hierarchy change: Blake Parker to Set-up, James Russell to 2nd in line.
June 17, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Kevin Gregg had the night off yesterday, so Carlos Marmol got the call in the 9th inning in a 3-run game against the Mets on Sunday. Five batters later, the Mets had walked off, and Dale Sveum was saying things like “We’ve come to find out that he has trouble with the last three outs,” while Marmol destroyed the clubhouse. I don’t even know what joke to make about Sveum’s hilarious admission, which the rest of humanity realized in 2011, but the Cubs don’t appear close to cutting Marmol altogether. Maybe, just maybe, this means that James Russell will finally get a shot in the 9th the next time Gregg is unavailable. Hierarchy change: James Russell to Set-up, Carlos Marmol to 2nd in line.
May 27, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Kyuji Fujikawa left yesterday’s game with a right forearm strain. It sounds similar to the injury he suffered earlier this season and he is likely to return to the DL. Hierarchy change: Carlos Marmol to Set-up, James Russell to 2nd in line.
May 22, 2013
Chicago Cubs – If Dale Sveum insists on using his best reliever, James Russell, in the sixth or seventh inning, and then trusting Carlos Marmol in the eighth, then yes, we will update the Cubs’ hierarchy accordingly. Just don’t expect us to be happy about it. Hierarchy change: Carlos Marmol to 2nd in line, replacing James Russell.
May 11, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Kyuji Fujikawa returned from the DL last night and threw a scoreless inning. He will take over as the primary 8th inning guy and could return to the closer’s role once Kevin Gregg remembers that he is Kevin Gregg. Hierarchy change: Kyuji Fujikawa to Set-up, James Russell to 2nd in line.
May 8, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Though Chicago fans greeted him with anticipatory boos, Carlos Marmol regained some confidence by holding a one-run lead for 1 1/3 innings, setting up Kevin Gregg for his fifth save in five chances. Dale Sveum clearly intends to ride or die with his $9.8 million man. Kyuji Fujikawa will throw another rehab appearance on Wednesday, then join the Cubs this weekend, likely sliding back into the set-up role behind Gregg. Hierarchy change: Carlos Marmol to 2nd in line, replacing Shawn Camp.
May 5, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Carlos Marmol was summoned for the 8th inning with the Cubs up 2. He proceeded to walk 2 batters and hit another before being pulled without recording an out. All three runners ended up scoring and Marmol was charged with the loss. Dale Sveum may have finally lost all confidence in Marmol. It’s hard to imagine the Cubs using Marmol in any meaningful situations moving forward. Hierarchy change: James Russell to Set-up, Shawn Camp to 2nd in line.
April 27, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Another 9th inning opportunity for Kevin Gregg, and a perfect inning for his third save of the season. As we’ve said, Kyuji Fujikawa should take back over when he returns, so much of this is elementary; however, hard as it is to believe, Kevin Gregg appears to be the reliever to own now in Chicago. Hierarchy change: Kevin Gregg to Closer, Carlos Marmol to Set-up.
April 27, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Shouldn’t-be closer Carlos Marmol was unavailable on Friday night, so this was finally a chance for James Russell to award his fantasy owners’ patience and potentially earn his first save of the season. And then Dale Sveum decided to pitch him in the 7th inning, whereupon he threw two pitches, got one out, and was yanked. Kevin Gregg, signed off the street a week ago after being cut from two teams in the past 8 months, was the guy who got the call in the 9th. Sveum still isn’t committing to any one reliever in Kyuji Fujikawa’s absence, so if you’re a crazy person, maybe you want to pick up Kevin Gregg or something. Hierarchy change: Kevin Gregg to Set-up, James Russell to 2nd in line.
April 24, 2013
Chicago Cubs - With a runner on second and lefty slugger Joey Votto at the plate with one out in a tight ninth inning, Dale Sveum inexplicably passed over James Russell and put his faith in Votto’s 15 at bats against . . . Carlos Marmol. ”Those numbers don’t lie,” Sveum later explained, incorrectly. Marmol gave up a single, the Reds tied the game, and (as predicted, somehow) Kevin Gregg picked up the vulture save. When will the sample size of Sveum’s bullpen mismanagement grow too large to ignore? Carlos Marmol to Hot Seat.
April 23, 2013
Chicago Cubs – James Russell came on in the 7th and gave up a tying triple. He stayed on for a scoreless 8th, then was relieved by Carlos Marmol, who pitched a passable 9th and 10th, finishing with a strikeout of Joey Votto. The seas are turning blood red, frogs are falling from the sky, and Carlos Marmol is probably the Cubs’ closer again — for now. Beware. Hierarchy change: Carlos Marmol to Closer, James Russell to Set-Up.
April 19, 2013
Chicago Cubs - James Russell is, overwhelmingly, the best reliever in the Cubs bullpen, but the young lefty, who hasn’t given up a run all season, still hasn’t appealed to Dale Sveum as a 9th inning reliever. Last night, with the Cubs up four runs, it was Carlos Marmol who pitched the 9th, after Russell had mowed down three lefties in the 8th. This all might be elementary at this point, since Kyuji Fujikawa will probably return to the role when he comes off the DL. But for the next week or so, Marmol could be the preferred saves man in Chicago. No hierarchy change.
April 16, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Another Shawn Camp meltdown tonight — this time in the 8th inning of a one-run game the Cubs were losing — means the weathered righthander is almost certainly finished as the Chicago closer. James Russell still has a 0.00 ERA on the season, and is the fan favorite to inherit the role, but somewhat surprisingly, Carlos Marmol is also in the mix once again. Two days after saying that Marmol wouldn’t be part of any 9th-inning platoon, Dale Sveum said Tuesday morning that Marmol was “working his way back into” the closer role. Russell and Marmol are now the two men to watch for Chicago saves until Kyuji Fujikawa returns. Hierarchy change: James Russell to Closer, Carlos Marmol to Set-up, Shawn Camp to 2nd in line.
April 15, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Shawn Camp appeared headed toward his first save of the year, retiring the first two hitters he faced in the 9th on Sunday. But Hunter Pence hit a solo home run to tie the game, and then Camp collapsed in the 10th, allowing three additional runs. Kyuji Fujikawa isn’t expected to miss a ton of time, but if Camp continues to falter, it could mean that the 9th-inning triage platoon starts leaning more in James Russell’s direction. Shawn Camp to Hot Seat.
April 14, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Kyuji Fujikawa has been placed on the disabled list with a muscle sprain in his right forearm. The injury is not particularly serious and Fujikawa is expected back in a few weeks, but until then, Shawn Camp and James Russell will share 9th inning duties. Carlos Marmol is not expected to be involved in the platoon. Hierarchy change: Shawn Camp to Closer, James Russell to Set-up, Michael Bowden to 2nd in line, Kyuji Fujikawa to DL.
April 7, 2013
Chicago Cubs - It seems that Carlos Marmol is finally done as the Cubs closer after giving up two home runs in the ninth to lose to Atlanta. Although Dale Sveum pointed out that Kyuji Fujikawa also pitched poorly on Saturday night, and offered Shawn Camp and James Russell as potential alternatives, we believe the Cub most likely to land in the closer role is the longtime Japanese relief ace. Hierarchy change: Kyuji Fujikawa to Closer, Shawn Camp to Set-Up, James Russell to 2nd in line.
April 5, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Dale Sveum stuck by Carlos Marmol after the embattled closer barely escaped a ninth inning that featured three singles wrapped around a walk. “He was OK. It didn’t seem that way, but it wasn’t too bad . . . We know things can get interesting with him.” When Sveum tires of “interesting” approaches to protecting late leads, Kyuji Fujikawa and his 200+ saves await. No hierarchy change.
April 2, 2013
Chicago Cubs – It took all of one game for reporters to start questioning Carlos Marmol’s role as the Cubs’ stopper. After taking over in the 9th inning, Marmol allowed three baserunners while only retiring one hitter before he was yanked for James Russell. Kyuji Fujikawa eventually got the one-out save. After the game, Dale Sveum said that Marmol was still his closer, though the quick hook shows just how little confidence the Cubs’ skipper has in the erratic righty. Fujikawa, a closer in Japan, is the best option to replace Marmol if the struggles continue. Hierarchy change: Kyuji Fujikawa to Set-up, Shawn Camp to 2nd in line. Carlos Marmol to Hot Seat.
February 24, 2013
Chicago Cubs – Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Carlos Marmol, Set-up- Shawn Camp, 2nd in line- Kyuji Fujikawa.
August 27, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Shawn Camp pitched the 8th inning with the Cubs up by 2 runs, and ended up earning the save when the game was rained out in the bottom of the 8th. Camp will continue to be the 8th inning man moving forward, as he was tonight. No hierarchy change.
July 12, 2012
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are selling anything and everything, but they may not have many takers for the top arms in their bullpen. Carlos Marmol has a big contract and is far too volatile to generate any interest. Meanwhile, Shawn Camp, James Russell and Rafael Dolis are unlikely to affect the 9th inning role if they do end up landing anywhere else. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.
July 3, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Carlos Marmol was unavailable on Monday, but it was James Russell who got the call in the 9th inning, not Shawn Camp. This came as a bit of a surprise, since Camp had pitched as a set-up man in the 8th inning in the previous two games. But it worked out for the Cubs, as Camp again pitched the 8th and allowed only one hit in his inning of work, leaving a lefty-heavy 9th inning for Russell, who earned the save. Camp, who now has 9 straight scoreless outings, is still the most likely candidate for a save on nights when Marmol is unavailable. No hierarchy change.
June 27, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Shawn Camp pitched 1.1 innings on Tuesday, finishing the 7th and 8th innings ahead of Carlos Marmol. James Russell’s usage lately has been sporadic, as he’s often pitched in blowouts, or early in games, as he did yesterday. Hierarchy change: Shawn Camp to Set-up, James Russell to 2nd in line.
June 16, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Carlos Marmol on Friday got his first save since returning from the minors, and Dale Sveum said after the game that Marmol was his closer again. Marmol is immediately on the Hot Seat, as it’s easy to picture Sveum yanking him out of the role again if he blows his next couple opportunities (and his save on Friday was far from smooth). But he’ll see the majority of save chances going forward. Hierarchy change: Carlos Marmol to Closer, James Russell to Set-up, Shawn Camp to 2nd in line.
June 13, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Carlos Marmol pitched in a tie game in the 8th, eventually earning the win last night. After Marmol pitched, Shawn Camp earned his first save of the season, pitching a clean ninth inning. Camp has now gotten the last two save opportunities (he blew the first one), after James Russell got the first two chances following Rafael Dolis’s demotion. Russell remains firmly on the Hot Seat, and another save chance for Camp could signal a shift in the Cubs’ ugly closer-by-committee. Hierarchy change: Carlos Marmol to 2nd in line, replacing Casey Coleman.
June 9, 2012
Chicago Cubs – While Dale Sveum declared that his 9th inning role a platoon, Friday was the first time since Rafael Dolis’s demotion that anyone other than James Russell was given a save opportunity for the Cubs. Shawn Camp came in to try and close the door on the Twins, but gave up the tying run in the 9th, and then the game-winning run in the 10th. While Camp struggled in his first effort in the role, Russell’s usage has been all over the place, as he’s been summoned before the 9th inning numerous times, including last night. James Russell to Hot Seat.
June 8, 2012
Chicago Cubs – With the Cubs leading yesterday, they used Shawn Camp in the 7th, and then James Russell for just one batter in the 8th. Manny Corpas followed, blowing the save but registering two scoreless innings, and Casey Coleman was called on in the 10th. While Russell has gotten all of the save opportunities since Rafael Dolis’s demotion, it’s silly season for the Cubs bullpen, and any one of these four could potentially nab a save on any night. No hierarchy change.
May 29, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Casey Coleman pitched a clean 9th inning for the Cubs on Monday. While it was not a save opportunity– the Cubs were up by 4– Coleman was briefly mentioned by Dale Sveum over the weekend as someone who could be a 9th inning option. While Sveum strongly endorsed James Russell and Shawn Camp for the role, Coleman could be a dark horse for saves. Hierarchy change: Casey Coleman to 2nd in line, replacing Rafael Dolis.
May 28, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Dale Sveum told the Chicago Tribune before Sunday’s game that Rafael Dolis would be moved back to a middle relief role, and then followed through, using Dolis in the 6th inning. Sveum said the Cubs would play match-ups in the 9th inning for the time being. “(James Russell) and (Shawn) Camp are our two viable options right now,” he said. Hierarchy change: James Russell to Closer, Shawn Camp to Set-up, Rafael Dolis to 2nd in line.
May 27, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Saturday was another rough day for Cubs closer Rafael Dolis, who couldn’t find the strike zone and ended up hitting the game’s final batter to force in the game-winning run. Afterward, Dale Sveum said his closer’s inability to find the strike zone was “not acceptable,” though he didn’t say he would remove the young righty from the role. Dolis remains on a blazing Hot Seat and James Russell (1.74 ERA) would be the most likely candidate to replace him. No hierarchy change.
May 24, 2012
Chicago Cubs - Rafael Dolis gave up three runs in a non-save situation on Wednesday. Dolis, whose stats look uglier every day (24.2 IPs, 4.74 ERA, 10 Ks/13 BBs), could be removed from the role if he continues to struggle, particularly if the Cubs want to give Carlos Marmol another crack at the job when he returns. Rafael Dolis to Hot Seat.
May 19, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Kerry Wood retired on Friday. Shawn Camp (2.70 ERA) will take his place as the right-handed set-up man in the Cubs bullpen. Hierarchy change: Shawn Camp to 2nd in line, replacing Kerry Wood.
May 14, 2012
Chicago Cubs – Carlos Marmol was placed on the DL over the weekend, and on Sunday, Kerry Wood pitched the 8th inning in a 3-run game. Hierarchy change: Carlos Marmol to DL, Kerry Wood to 2nd in line.
May 4, 2012
Chicago Cubs- Carlos Marmol had another terrible outing today and after the game Manager Dale Sveum said he is thinking about removing Marmol as closer. Sveum mentioned Rafael Dolis and James Russell as potential replacements. Dolis should get the first shot as he was brought on today to try and clean up Marmol’s mess. Hierarchy change: Rafael Dolis to Closer, James Russell to set-up, Carlos Marmol to 2nd in Line.
April 30, 2012
Chicago Cubs — Another astonishingly bad outing by Carlos Marmol on Sunday, who responded to a four-run lead by loading the bases and walking in a run before inducing a game-ending groundout. After the game, Dale Sveum reiterated his support for his closer, but also noted, “You’ve got to be patient, but there’s only so much you be patient with.” Indeed. No hierarchy change.
April 28, 2012
Chicago Cubs- Rafael Dolis got the 2 inning save last night. Dolis entered in the 8th with a 2 run lead and after the Cubs added 2 more runs to make it a 4 run lead, he came back on for the 9th and finished the game. With Kerry Wood on the disabled list, Dolis is the Cubs’ second-best reliever. Hierarchy change: Kerry Wood to DL, Rafael Dolis to Set-up, James Russell to 2nd in Line.
April 8, 2012
Chicago Cubs- Carlos Marmol had another ugly performance on Saturday, two days after taking the loss in the Cubs’ opener. Marmol, who blew 10 saves in 2011, would be in more danger if set-up man Kerry Wood had been anything less than awful as well. But should Marmol continue to struggle, the Cubs may be forced to look to Wood, or perhaps to young Rafael Dolis, for the 9th inning role. Carlos Marmol to Hot Seat.
March 20, 2012
Chicago Cubs- Although Carlos Marmol has struggled in spring training, his position as the team’s closer remains secure. Kerry Wood is the clear first setup man, but with Jeff Samardzija likely headed to the rotation, it appears that young Rafael Dolis will be next in line in the Chicago pen. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Carlos Marmol, Set-up- Kerry Wood, 2nd in line- Rafael Dolis.
Sept. 21, 2011
Chicago Cubs- Kerry Wood is out for the season with a torn meniscus in his knee. Jeff Samardzija has assumed Wood’s late inning role. Hierarchy change: Jeff Samardzija to 2nd in line, replacing Kerry Wood.
Sept. 18, 2011
Chicago Cubs- Carlos Marmol had the night off on Saturday after pitching two innings the night before, so Sean Marshall came in for the save in the 9th. No hierarchy change.
Sept. 5, 2011
Chicago Cubs- Carlos Marmol was held out of last night’s game, having thrown 39 pitches the night before, so Sean Marshall picked up the save. After the game, Mike Quade said that Marmol is still the Cubs’ closer. No hierarchy change.
Sept. 4, 2011
Chicago Cubs- Carlos Marmol got bombed last night and is in danger of losing his job, but it would likely be to Sean Marshall, who pitched the 8th inning last night, not Kerry Wood, who was used for the 7th. This one wasn’t about match-ups; Marshall has surpassed Wood on the depth chart. Hierarchy change: Marshall to Set-up, Wood to 2nd in line. Marmol to “Hot Seat.”
Aug. 16, 2011
Chicago Cubs- Carlos Marmol was given a day off last night after pitching 5 of the 6 previous games. Kerry Wood got the save. No hierarchy change.