Okay, a quick synopsis and a poll. I know there's another poll, but I think that leaves out two very good, very reasonable options. I think that the fact that 25% voted other indicates that that was a flawed poll.
The argument for: All things considered, he hasn't been that terrible this year. He certainly hasn't been good, but he's the only player on the team with recent closing experience.
The argument against: He has sucked this year. He's given up way too many HRs and the Cubs will not make it anywhere with him as the closer. There is no possible way anyone could do worse than Gregg. Plus, I'm no fan of the goggles.
The argument for: When he's on, he is capable of being absolutely dominant. He has unhittable stuff, and also wants to be the closer. No matter what happens this year, I think Marmol will and should be the Cubs closer of the future. Why not let him start this year? And who knows, maybe the the added pressure of pitching in the 9th inning will snap him out of his funk.
The argument against: He has sucked this year. His BB/inning is just beyond bad. If he pitches like he has this year, he will be terrible in the closer's role. And if he fails as closer this year, you may destroy his confidence and ruin what could have been a great career. And who knows, maybe the added pressure of pitching in the 9th inning will overexcite him and make him even wilder.
The argument for: He has, without a doubt been the Cubs' best reliever this year. It's only natural that he should be the closer. He has tremendous stuff, and appears to have the poise necessary to be the closer. And if he can stick, the Cubs have solved the closer problem for years to come.
The argument against: He's been amazing as a setup man, so why mess with what's working so well? It's clear he's found one hell of a groove as a setup man, and there are numerous examples of amazing setup men becoming absolute failures as closer (Latroy Hawkins, anyone?). Just let him keep on dominating the 8th inning, which is just as important as the 9th anyways.
The argument for: I don't see why nobody's suggested this guy be the closer. He's been as steady as the come the past couple years out of the bullpen, and he's got the stuff to be a good closer. He's no LOOGY either, as he actually has pitched better against RHBs than against LHBs.
The argument against: He really doesn't have a lot of experience pitching in high-pressure situations, of which there were very few in Pittsburgh. Throwing him into the fire of a late-season playoff race for a team with high expectations like the Cubs could be a recipe for disaster. In addition to that, he's got a pretty high BB/inning, which is a bad sign.
The argument for: He is the only player on the roster besides Gregg that has closed before at this level. He has the stuff to do it, and somebody's gotta be the odd man out of the rotation. It only makes sense that it would be the guy with a history of being an effective reliever. And John Kruk will eat you if you don't vote for this option.
The argument against: He wasn't exactly stellar the last time he was the Cubs' closer. If he can return to the level he was at last year, he will be infinitely more valuable as a starter than as a closer. Plus, the Cubs are paying him 15 million dollars a year, a reasonable amount for a 17-game winning starter with an ERA under 3, but an obscene amount for a mediocre closer.
Who should be the Cubs closer?
Kevin Gregg (2 votes)
Carlos Marmol (40 votes)
Angel Guzman (106 votes)
John Grabow (22 votes)
Ryan Dempster (16 votes)
186 total votes