With his earth-shattering 2010 season behind, the Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol will look to improve upon his non-shattering 2011 season when he posted a more pedestrian 4.01 ERA and 3.54 FIP -- and had a particularly a rough second half of the season when his walks increased, his strikeouts decreased and his effectiveness generally dissipated:
David Kaplan of CSN Chicago reports that Marmol came to camp lighter and looking to improve:
"I lost about 15 pounds this winter through my workouts and I really didn’t have to change my diet much because I eat healthy, lots of chicken and vegetables," he said.
Marmol apparently spent the winter doing cardio workouts, lifting weights and -- naturally -- riding horses. According to pitching coach Chris Bosio, Marmol will feature a new pitching approach in addition to a new belt size:
"We have tweaked his approach and his pitch selection some by having him use his fastball and curveball more and setting up that great slider. Carlos has all of the tools to be a great pitcher and we have to all work together to get him back to where he was. Not many teams have a bullpen that feature a Carlos Marmol and a Kerry Wood and we are very fortunate to have them in ours. Carlos has looked great so far in camp and I am looking for him to have a big year for us," Bosio said.
Marmol and the Cubs begin their season with their first Spring Training exhibition on Sunday, March 4.
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