3/27 Sveum: No worries about Marmol

In 2004, Keith Foulke gave up 15 earned runs in nine Spring Training innings for a 15.00 ERA. Cubs manager Dale Sveum, then on the Red Sox coaching staff, called it “the worst Spring Training in the history of the game.” That year, Foulke saved 32 games for the Red Sox, and helped them win a World Series.

“That’s why you don’t put too much emphasis on Spring Training,” Sveum said Wednesday.

Which is why Sveum wasn’t too upset after Carlos Marmol’s rough outing Tuesday night against the Reds. Marmol had not given up an earned run in his seven outings before Tuesday when he failed to retire any of the six batters he faced. The right-hander was charged with three earned runs on six hits and one walk. In his seven previous outings, he had given up four hits. Marmol’s spring ERA went from 1.86 to 4.66 after the outing, which isn’t close to being Foulke-like.

“He’s been throwing strikes with his fastball,” Sveum said of Marmol. “[Tuesday], he got hit a little bit but it’s still strikes and he’s doing a pretty good job. He had four outings in a row where I think the most pitches he threw were 12.

“There’s no worries there,” he said. “It’s Spring Training, just like you don’t worry about one of your core hitters struggling in Spring Training because Opening Day is a different animal with adrenaline and focus and everything gets better.”

The Cubs do have Kyuji Fujikawa in camp. The Japanese right-hander was a closer for 12 seasons with Hanshin, and will be used to close if Marmol needs a breather. But Fujikawa isn’t taking Marmol’s job.

“Anybody can lose their job at any time during the season, but there’s one thing you don’t get caught up in — you don’t get caught up in guys’ track records in Spring Training or what’s going on in Spring Training,” Sveum said. “The adrenaline factor and all that — you don’t ever forget what [Marmol] did the last three months of the season last year.”

After the All-Star break, Marmol posted a 1.52 ERA in 30 games, and saved 12 of 13 opportunities.

– Carrie Muskat

4 Comments

I predict Fujikawa will be the closer before May.

Sveum may not have any worries on Marmol, but every time he takes the mound with a lead, I worry, no matter how big the lead is.

We are all happy for you Dale. Don’t worry about Marmol, sleep well at night….you’re not fooling anybody, especially us Cubs fans that know better than to count on Marmol to be our lights out closer during a season when a lights out closer is a moot point. Half the players on Sveum’s roster are moot points when it comest to 2013. We all know despite the “correct”, ego masaging comments coming from Sveum that 2013′s roster is just canon fodder, a time building bridge to 2014/15 when REALLY GOOD ball players will be added to Rizzo, Castro, Barney. Maybe he’s not worried about Baker, Garza or Feldman either? Looks like in a few years the free agent emphasis will be pitching as only position players are shining in the minor leagues, to Epstein’s credit.

Hey Mamma, I think this season will be a laid back, watch what happens at the deadline and Sept. call ups type of season. No pressure on this godawfu team to compete let alone finish above a few Central teams. So why not enjoy knowing that it is just temporary anyway, right? I hope Soriano impressed a few teams with his 5 spring homers and not inuring himself…then we have to hope he will ALLOW the Cubs to trade him instead of remaining as “royalty” on a “pesant” infested roster.
Still shaking my head about the Schierholtz signing, have you seen his career numbers? Might as well have GIVEN the job to Sappelt…

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