3/27 Marshall OK with relief role

Sean Marshall is OK with the news that he’s in the Cubs bullpen and not the rotation.

“I can’t be disappointed,” Marshall said. “I’m still in the Major Leagues and I obviously have some value as a pitcher. We do have a young bullpen and I do have some experience, although not as much as a guy like John Grabow. I think I can help the pitchers down there and use my experience to my advantage to get guys out.”

On Friday, Lou Piniella tabbed Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva for the rotation, and assigned Marshall and Jeff Samardzija to the pen. All four had expressed a desire to start.

“I realize I am an asset in the bullpen,” Marshall said. “I enjoy coming into the game in big situations and enjoy getting to work on a little more regular basis than you would as a starter and especially as a fifth starter.”

He was the fifth starter at the beginning of last season and was skipped a couple times. Marshall also won’t be the only lefty in the pen. Besides Grabow, James Russell appears to have locked up a spot.

“From the beginning of spring, it was a competition,” Marshall said of the battle between the four pitchers. “I tried my best to win the competition. I realize I did pitch well and our bullpen is maybe lacking just a touch in experience. I can help out there. You can’t be disappointed. I’m pitching right now as good as I can and I feel I’m improving. Hopefully by Opening Day, I’ll be as good as I can get.”

— Carrie Muskat

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