Jeff Gray, slowed by a strained groin, threw three “batting practice” innings on Thursday and his next step will be a simulated game. However, the right-hander is running out of time to make the Cubs’ Opening Day roster.
The Cubs will be leaning on lefty John Grabow to be the primary set-up pitcher. Lou Piniella would like at least one other person to handle those duties.
“If we can find a couple pitchers here to complement him, it would behoove us,” Piniella said. “The two kids we have right now would either be [Esmailin] Caridad or [Justin] Berg. Then we have to see what we do rotation-wise, and maybe somebody from the rotation falls into that category, too.”
Will Piniella use Grabow the way he used Marmol last year?
“Yes,” Piniella said, then paused. It would depend on the situation
“We want another pitcher or two who we can lean on in that role,” Piniella said. “We just don’t want one person specifically. Remember, with Marmol last year, he has that devastating slider and we’d use him sometimes in the seventh to get out of an inning and sometimes start the eighth.”
— Carrie Muskat