This rebuilding plan can’t be easy yet for Cubs manager Dale Sveum.
Not because he doesn’t want to oversee a rebuilding project, he signed up for that.
It’s playing guys that he may not want to really play for the sake of propping up their non-existent trade value. There are times that you can see this eating at him, and he gives the media just enough of a glimpse to confirm it.
I felt for him when he had to publicly back Marlon Byrd. Now I feel for him when he has to bring in Carlos Marmol to close out a game while he would rather hand the ball to someone else.
Geovany Soto is another obvious case of a guy that he would rather not write into his line up. He can't do that yet, just in case Soto breaks out of it and the Cubs can dump him ASAP.
The pained look on Sveum’s face in Sunday’s ninth inning was on display for everyone while Marmol was doing his best Mitch Williams impersonation. Can’t the Cubs ever have a closer that throws strikes?
While Marmol was walking the lead off man with a five run lead, I was happy for Sveum that he has already lost all his hair. You could tell Sveum was going to yank him if he lost Shane Victorino. Sveum confirmed that to the press after the game.
Had Victorino reached, Sveum said Marmol would've been gone. James Russell was warming up.
"He's going to be a high pitch count guy," Sveum said of Marmol. "Obviously you don't want to see that kind of stress. That's what he is, and that's what you have to understand and be patient with. There's only so much you can be patient with."
Sveum has also raved about catchers Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger, while just saying Soto is still the guy.
We get it Dale.
Sveum said he plans to give Castillo more playing time than Clevenger ‘‘because he’s an every-day catcher that’s caught all the time every day, a guy that can swing the bat as well and a guy that’s been playing well and can stop a running game.’’
Sounds like the guy Sveum raved about in spring training as someone capable of starting in the big leagues.
‘‘But,’’ Sveum stressed, ‘‘Soto’s still the every-day guy.’’
‘‘It’s been inconsistent,’’ Sveum said of Soto’s track record. ‘‘But the home runs are still there, and the on-base percentage is still there. Sometimes when a guy has a rookie season like he did, we kind of put a scale on that too much and [need to] understand that the league knows how to pitch him better than they did then and all those kind of things.’’
Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Soto, but it’s still too early to make that change. Theo and Jed have to try and get something for Marmol and Soto just like they did with Byrd. You know like the one where the Cubs had to eat Byrd's entire salary to take a flyer on a guy who was DFA’d.
You probably aren’t going to do much better for Marmol or Soto.
So far what you did get was a team that looks and has performed better since dealing Byrd. That is not to mention a look at what has been a real bright spot in Tony Camapana.
Let’s hope we are talking about Castillo and Rafael Dolis in the same manner soon.
I gather Sveum does too.