3/8 Mariners 10, Cubs 3

What went right:

Alfonso Soriano led off the Chicago second with his third spring homer and Kerry Wood went one inning, giving up one hit. Chris Volstad gave up one hit and struck out three over three innings in his first Cactus League appearance. The right- hander, acquired from the Marlins for Carlos Zambrano, is competing for one of the spots in the rotation. He’s keeping an eye on his teammates. “I don’t follow on the computer and go out by out,” Volstad said, “but at the end of the day, I check it to see how everybody did. It’s competition but friendly competition. You always want your teammates to do well. It pushes you as a player also.”

What went wrong:

Carlos Marmol gave up four runs on four hits over two-thirds of an inning, including a three-run homer to Dustin Ackley. Marmol has been focusing on fastball command this spring, but his slider hurt him. He hit Casper Wells with a slider and Ackley’s homer also was off a slider.


“I don’t really care [about the results] because I’m working on my fastball now, trying to locate my fastball. I didn’t have good results today.” — Carlos Marmol

Up next:

Travis Wood will make his second spring appearances and first Cactus League start on Friday when the Cubs travel to Glendale to play their crosstown rivals, the White Sox. The game will be on WGN TV, but it will be the White Sox broadcasters handling the call, so if you want the North Side perspective, listen to Len Kasper on Cubs.com. Also scheduled to pitch are Randy Wells and Rodrigo Lopez. All three pitchers are competing for two spots in the rotation. The lineup will be Alfonso Soriano DH, Darwin Barney 2B, Jeff Baker RF, Bryan LaHair 1B, Marlon Byrd CF, Joe Mather LF, Steve Clevenger C, Junior Lake SS, Edgar Gonzalez 3B.

Injury update:

Geovany Soto could return to the lineup Saturday or Sunday. He’s been slowed by a sore groin and has been taking part in pre-game batting practice. Jason Jaramillo remains sidelined with soreness in his legs.

— Carrie Muskat


With all due respect to Dempster, should Volstad or Samarzdja out perform him and the starting rotation does not include Dempster (gasp! I know, it must be difficult for SOME to understand this concept of better pitchers pitch regardless of SERVICE TIME) this would allow Sveum to use Dembpster in the bullpen even as a closer again putting a fire under Marmols “cheeks”. Dempster performed well a closer before and may have something left in the tank for shorter stints instead of being a run of the mill starter. All around, with Dempster in the pen it may strengthen the team. There is nobody putting any pressure on Marmol other than MAYBE Kerry Wood???

Last spring Dempster looked great then hit the cold weather and location of even his fast ball was terrible. Was he trying to just hit corners –seemed like his pitch count was just terrible all season..Is there a pitching coach out there with an opinion?

This calls for the…TOWEL DRILL! 🙂

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