The Cubs closer has been accused of abuse by a woman in his home country, the Dominican Republic. The Cubs believe in his innocence, and expect him in spring camp on time.
The accusations against Cubs closer Carlos Marmol were sent to a higher court in the Dominican Republic Friday, according to a Paul Sullivan report in the Tribune:
The Cubs sent attorneys to the Dominican to look into the criminal complaint that 24-year-old Miledys Mejia Cepeda filed. No police charges apparently have been filed since the incident allegedly occurred last October, and a hearing on the matter was conducted Friday. When the nation's Supreme Court of Justice will address the case was not reported. Marmol attended Friday's hearing with his attorneys, the Dominican Republic's El Nacional reported.
According to Sullivan's report, the Cubs believe in Marmol's innocence:
"We take any accusation of this nature seriously," Epstein told the Tribune. "All the information we could gather supports Carlos' contention that he is innocent of any wrongdoing. We expect this matter to be behind him soon."
This won't affect Marmol's status with the team, according to Sullivan, and he will be in camp for the team's first scheduled workout:
Marmol's attorney Nelson Pimentel told the Tribune via email Friday, "Carlos will be OK and in time at training camp." Cubs pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training Monday in Mesa. Marmol's agent, Paul Kinzer, says he spoke to the reliever after the hearing Friday and maintains the veteran pitcher will be in camp on time. "He told me he will be on a flight to Phoenix Sunday night," Kinzer said.
Marmol, as you know, has had up-and-down seasons the past two years. After a rough start to 2012, he was almost back to being the lights-out closer he was in 2010 from mid-June on. The Cubs also have Kyuji Fujikawa, a former closer in Japan, signed to be a setup man for Marmol and to be ready to step in, in case of another Marmol Meltdown. Also, writes Sullivan, Fujikawa's contract:
... includes performance incentives for games finished in 2O14, which suggests they will move him into the closer's role after this season. If that's the case, Marmol probably would be trade bait before the July 31 deadline.
The Cubs' bullpen should be significantly improved in 2013, in any case, over 2012. Of course, the bar isn't set very high for that to happen. Whatever the case, the Cubs and Marmol appear ready to put this court case behind them and be ready for the 2013 season.