3/19 Sorting out the bullpen

Realistically, there’s one opening remaining in the Cubs’ bullpen. The pitchers set include closer Carlos Marmol, lefty John Grabow and right-hander Esmailin Caridad. Two other spots will be taken by the pitchers who don’t make the rotation. That group includes Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny and Sean Marshall.

Lefty John Gaub is candidate for the ‘pen but didn’t help himself Thursday when he gave up three runs on four hits in one inning against the Dodgers.

“We’ve got, realistically, one spot in that bullpen and I think every appearance now is important for these kids,” Lou Piniella said Friday. “We have some definite ideas on what young kids have done enough to pitch here already.”

One name being given strong consideration is right-hander Justin Berg, who has given up one hit and one run, a solo homer, in five innings over five games. The others still in camp include James Russell and Rule 5 pick Michael Parisi.

— Carrie Muskat

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