It’s not as though Carlos Marmol throws 100 miles per hour. It isn’t as though he can pinpoint the ball on either corner, or change a batter’s eye level at will.

In fact, if any hurler in the game’s history has been more frequently guilty of “throwing” rather than “pitching,” he will need to submit himself for review. Carlos Marmol just goes out, toes the rubber and lets go of whatever may be in his right hand when he finishes his improbable delivery.

Yet, it works.

After a 2009 that seemed to portend an end to the reign of terror Marmol had effected during his first two dominant seasons in the Chicago Cubs‘ bullpen, 2010 has been by far Marmol‘s best as a Major League pitcher.

His command continues to cavort with AJ Pierzynski’s plate discipline and Juan Pierre’s throwing arm somewhere in the baseball ether, but Marmol has found a way to overcome it, and send everyone who can’t resist his whipsaw slider back to the dugout holding their lumber.

Of the 274 pitchers who have thrown at least 50 innings this season, only three have a higher swing-and-miss rate than Marmol. Of these, none can match the 63.4 percent rate at which Marmol gets ahead of hitters by throwing first-pitch strikes.

Marmol has walked more than two batters for every three innings pitched this season, but after walking a shade under eight per nine innings last year, the Cubs have to be thrilled with his work.

Marmol walks more men than the ideal closer, but balances this by doing one thing that all closers must be able to do: He keeps the ball in the park.

In 2008, Marmol allowed 10 home runs. In his other three seasons of relief, however, he has surrendered just six long-balls—in all three years combined.

Marmol earned just $2.125 million this season in his first year of arbitration eligibility, largely because of the excessive walks in 2009.

This year, with a full season as a dominant closer under his belt, he will have much more leverage with the Cubs in an arbitration situation. That is why, if GM Jim Hendry is smart, he will sign Marmol to an extension through 2013.

Marmol will be 28 next season, not young but not yet old by any means. Because he relies primarily on a breaking ball, rather than pure heat, he will probably stand up better to the early stages of aging than closers like Jonathan Broxton and Francisco Rodriguez have in the past two seasons.

Broxton signed a two-year deal prior to this season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and got $11 million total. At the time, Broxton had completed one arbitration-eligible season, as well. He had 55 career saves—four more than Marmol has right now. Broxton‘s career strikeout rate stood a shade under 12.00 per nine innings, as will Marmol‘s if he continues his current pace over the season’s final four weeks.

Broxton‘s walk rate and ERA, however, were each substantially better than Marmol‘s will be, both for their careers and over the previous two seasons. Broxton is almost two years Marmol‘s junior.

Taking this comparison into consideration, Marmol and the Cubs could likely agree on a two or three-year deal in the neighborhood of five million per season. Given the market price of good closers–as a free agent, the rather tame Brandon Lyon got $15 million over three years from Houston last winter—the Cubs should jump at this chance to keep Marmol around through their rebuilding phase.

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