CHICAGO (AP) — With a few minor adjustments to his mechanics, the Los Angeles Dodgers believe they can resurrect the career of reliever Carlos Marmol.
The Dodgers acquired the struggling closer from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday for right-hander Matt Guerrier.
“He’s still got a lot of youth to him,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a conference call before a game in Denver. “He’s not on the downside of his career. He needs, perhaps, a change of scenery and an adjustment with his delivery.”
Colletti said the team detected flaws in Marmol’s mechanics, something they feel confident can be worked out. Marmol is currently in the Dominican Republic, but should report to the team soon.
“Anytime you can add somebody who’s had success pitching the ninth, you can always use them in roles that don’t include the ninth,” Colletti said. “If you need the ninth, you’ve got somebody that’s at least experienced. We’re looking to add to the pen. Whatever that role becomes, it will become.”
The Cubs designated Marmol for assignment last week. He was 2-4 with two saves and a 5.86 ERA in 31 appearances this season, striking out 32 while walking 21 batters.
An All-Star as a setup man in 2008, Marmol’s best year as a closer was 2010, when he had 38 saves in 43 chances along with 138 strikeouts and 52 walks.
“His stuff is power stuff,” manager Don Mattingly said. “At the end of the day, he helps us. We know he’s a guy that has good stuff and has a potential to be nasty.”
Los Angeles has experience fixing scuffling relievers. The team acquired Brandon League from Seattle last season, only to see him rediscover his form and save six games for the Dodgers. League has struggled at times this season — converting 14 of 18 save chances — and recently lost his job as the closer to Kenley Jansen.
The Dodgers are hoping they can transform Marmol.
“We’ve got good pitching coaches in this organization that can really dissect deliveries,” Colletti said. “We think that we have found a couple of points in his delivery that with an adjustment could bring him back. Talking to him today, he’s excited to start anew, to see if he can get better, and if he can return to the form he was in not too long ago.”
Guerrier is 25-33 with six saves and a 3.54 ERA over 10 seasons in the major leagues. He went 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA this season before being designated for assignment on Sunday.
In addition to Marmol, the Dodgers also acquired an international signing bonus slot in the deal, which was just as important, Colletti said.
“An opportunity to get somebody with his ninth-inning history, coupled with being able to find a home for Matt Guerrier before we were going to need to release him, coupled with the opportunity to add the slot money on the international side, we thought there were a lot of good pieces to this,” Colletti said. “We thought it was worth our while.”