Cubs manager Dale Sveum made it official Friday morning: Carlos Marmol is no longer the closer out of the bullpen.
The two met in Sveum’s office before Friday’s game against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field and Marmol was “fine with it, he understood,” Sveum said.
The Cubs will use left-hander James Russell and right-hander Rafael Dolis in the role for now, although Sveum said it might not be a strict lefty-lefty and righty-righty matchup.
“We’ll wing it,” Sveum said.
What happens with Marmol?
“I told him just to be ready to pitch any time,” the manager said. “Hopefully, we can get him going to where we give him another chance and get him back in that role.”
Dolis has saved one game this season and 17 last year at Class AA Tennessee. Russell has never recorded a save at any level.
“They say the last three outs are the hardest three to get,” Russell said. “We’ll burn that bridge when we get there.”
Hopefully, he “crosses” that bridge as well, but he did say he had felt for Marmol.
“Hopefully it works for the time being until Carlos comes back and finds himself,” he said. “I don’t see it playing out the whole year by any means.”
Russell’s father, Jeff, saved 186 big league games, including a league-leading 38 with the 1989 Rangers and 33 with the 1993 Red Sox.
“I like to think closers are a little screwy in the head so maybe he passed that down to me,” James said. “It’ll be fun. You’ve got to have a little bit . . . something wrong with you . . . to be a closer.”