Sveum, Bosio stand behind Marmol
PITTSBURGH — With a day off before Wednesday night's game against the Pirates, both Cubs manager Dale Sveum and pitching coach Chris Bosio said it's too early to panic about closer Carlos Marmol.
Sveum pulled Marmol in the ninth inning of Monday's 3-1 win after Marmol struggled. Kyuji Fujikawa earned the save.
"Like I said (Monday), he's the closer," Sveum said of Marmol. "We've talked, and he knows that we've got to throw strikes. There might be occasions where if you have the weapons out there, you can do things like that (pull the closer). There are times when the starter comes out early, you don't have all the weapons to do things like that. Your starter goes 8, you're going to do whatever you can to save that lead."
Bosio was asked if Marmol's struggles Monday were magnified because it was Opening Day.
"I think it's magnified because of the struggles that he had last year," Bosio said. "Here's a guy that was on one (heck) of a roll in the second half. How we got him on that roll is getting him back out there, just like any other player. Baseball is peaks and valleys. Carlos had, I thought, some pitch-selection issues that we addressed.
"First game of the season. We haven't seen that kind of weather. Just like today. It's going to be interesting to see what kind of game we have out there coming from Arizona to Houston, where it's 75 to 80-85 degrees. There are intangibles that go along with guys in their at-bats and their throwing or whether a guy's pitching. We'll get him right back out there."
The Cubs have more options in the back of the bullpen this year. Fujikawa, James Russell and Shawn Camp all can close if Marmol struggles or needs a day because of workload.
The Cubs lost minor-league pitcher Robert Whitenack off waivers to the Cleveland Indians. Whitenack was designated for assignment earlier this week when the Cubs added infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the roster.
Whitenack was an intriguing prospect until undergoing Tommy John surgery during the summer of 2011. He was 1-6 with a 5.96 ERA last year at Class A Daytona.
The Cubs also signed veteran outfielder Ryan Sweeney and infielder Donnie Murphy to minor-league contracts. Both will report to Class AAA Iowa.
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