Carlos Marmol’s K rate is off the chart, but his control problems cause him to regularly walk and occasionally hit batters. He lands offerings in a generous strike zone less than 60% of the time, which isn’t unusual, but he is frequently helped by batters who swing at pitches out of the zone. The secret to Marmol’s success isn’t his sidearm pitching motion and it can’t be detected by watching him.
It has recently come to light that Marmol disarms opposing hitters’ telepathic skills because he never knows where his next pitch will wind up. “All major league hitters read pitchers’ minds,” Cubs batting instructor Rudy Jaramillo said. “Marmol’s lack of any preconceived notion whatsoever of where his next pitch will wind up is definitely keeping him up here since no one can read him in advance.”
“I’m a mind reader at the plate,” Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, the reigning NL batting champ, said. “Whether it’s a 90 mph fastball or a 60 mph change up, I still have less than half a second to decide to swing and also complete a quality swing.”
Gonzales adds that he usually knows what pitch is coming since the pitcher does. “But Marmol’s mind is blank and I’m just guessing when I face him.”
Neurologist Uriel Kedjavber, M.D. of Northwestern Memorial Hospital said that an MRI of Marmol’s brain was taken as the Cubs closer contemplated a pitch recently. The test was done for experimental purposes only. Hospital staff confirmed that the scan revealed nothing.
By Rob C. Christiansen