MESA, Ariz. _ OK, I threw that extra "g" in there as a tribute to Kevin Gregg, who today was named the Cubs' closer by Lou. Gregg beat out a clearly disappointed Carlos Marmol, who will go back to his setup role.
"I said we'd let both pitchers compete here in the spring, and they both pitched well," Lou said. "I'm fortunate that I have two pitchers here that I have confidence in that can do the job. Gregg has come in here and hasn't given up a run all spring. I think leaving spring training, we're a better team the way we've put this thing together."
Gregg said: "I threw the ball well this spring. I came in wanting to show Lou, Larry (pitching coach Rothschild) and Jim (GM Hendry) what I could do on a first-hand basis. I was able to do that here. I've been rewarded with getting the closer's job."
Gregg is 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA in 9 games. He's given up 4 hits in 8 1-3 innings while walking two and striking out 10. Marmol is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. He has pitched 8 innings, giving up 6 hits and 4 runs while walking one, striking out 10 and hitting five batters.
"Disappointed, yeah, of course it is," Marmol said of the situation, which he seemed to think was preordained. "I can't control this."
Marmol pitched for the Dominican Republic in the WBC but said he didn't feel that didn't make any difference.
"They knew what (they were going) to do before I got here," he said. "That's what I said when I said it was not 'competition.'"
Marmol did admit, though, that the decision was good for the team.
This just in, as they say. The Cubs got their roster down to 30 today. They optioned pitchers Randy Wells and Kevin Hart to Iowa. Sent to minor-league camp were catcher Mark Johnson, infielders Andres Blanco and Esteban German and outfielders Brad Snyder and So Taguchi. So, no pun intended, goes yesterday's little blog fantasy about the Cubs keeping Taguchi over Gathright. I do what I can.