Lou seemed a little less cranky today than recently. In fact, he even flashed a little optimism when he was told the season is almost one-third of the way along.
"I think things are going to turn out all right here, I really do," he said.
Lou says he sees the batting averages heading upward on some of his key players and that the bullpen is taking shape. More on that pen in a minute or so.
As for Marshall, Lou confirmed that he'll head to the bullpen once Rich Harden comes off the DL. Lou says that gives him an experienced lefty in the pen. That, of course, means Randy Wells has found a "permanent" home in the rotation.
Now for that pen. Awhile back, I blogged that the Cubs were carrying 12 pitchers but using only 11 without benefit of the extra position player. That's because they weren't using Rule 5 guy David Patton at all. You can almost argue that the Cubs are using a 10-man pitching staff now because they haven't used rookie lefty Jason Waddell since bringing him up last Wednesday.
Lou needs to be right about "putting together a nice little pen," because a lot of today's situation has come about because of Lou's doing. He never warmed to lefty Scott "Stevie" Eyre, and the Cubs traded him away last year, only to watch Eyre get a World Series ring with the Phillies. Lou also seemed to have little use for the largely reliable Michael Wuertz, who is off to a stellar start with Oakland. As longtime reader mlp pointed out the other day, the Cubs have released outfielder Richie Robnett, one of the players the Cubs got for Wuertz. They traded the other player, meaning they're left with nothing for Wuertz. They do save $1.1 million in salary, but ol' Wuertzy might look pretty good in that pen long about now.
Here is how the ex-Cubs relievers were doing heading into today:
2 saves in 2 chances
0.90 WHIP (Wow)
0 saves in 2 chances
0 saves in 0 chances
8 saves in 10 chances
In other news, Ryan Freel was packing up for a morning flight to Arizona, where he'll begin rehabbing his hammy.
Another cool night with the wind blowing in.