Closer Carlos Marmol already a big fan of manager Dale Sveum
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com March 15, 2012 8:58PM
Updated: April 19, 2012 8:23AM
MESA, Ariz. — Closer Carlos Marmol has been around long enough that he has had four managers in his Cubs career. And long enough to know what he likes.
He’s already a big believer in the new guy after a confidence-building talk with Dale Sveum helped clear his mind before his scoreless inning Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
‘‘He’s a good guy who understands players,’’ Marmol said. ‘‘He’s better than anybody else so far [among the four managers Marmol has had].’’
Said Sveum: ‘‘I hope he says that when it’s all said and done.’’
Marmol’s confidence sagged as he went through his worst season as a reliever last season. And after back-to-back terrible outings this spring, he wasn’t exactly feeling cured.
But after what Marmol called a ‘‘great’’ talk with Sveum on Wednesday, he said: ‘‘I feel confident. It’s nice having a manager to talk to like that.’’
Whether it pays off and solves the problems that led to his major-league-worst 10 blown saves last season, Marmol at least seems to have found a productive connection on the staff for the first time since pitching coach Larry Rothschild left for the New York Yankees after the 2010 season.
‘‘Communication is obviously huge,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘It’s just a matter of treating the guys like human beings. No matter how much money they make or the problems they have . . . they’re all human beings and they’re going to fail. And there’s so much negativity in this game that you have to give everybody confidence.’’
Sori all heart
The latest on the Alfonso Soriano spin-the-wheel lineup questions:
‘‘I don’t see him hitting anywhere else but three, four or five right now,’’ Sveum said of Soriano, his hottest hitter this spring. ‘‘He’s proven it before. We don’t have any other proven three, four or five hitters in this lineup, so it’s one of those things where he’ll be in one of those spots, depending on how everything else falls into place.’’
Seven more cuts
The Cubs cut seven more players, including top prospects Matt Szczur and Junior Lake, both of whom were optioned to Class AA Tennessee.
Four more — left-handers Jeff Beliveau and John Gaub, right-hander Alberto Cabrera and infielder Josh Vitters — were optioned to Class AAA Iowa. And catcher Jason Jaramillo, who hasn’t been able to get into a game this spring because of a nagging quad injury, was reassigned to minor-league camp.
Infielder Blake DeWitt was hit by a pitch on the right hand and left the game against the Colorado Rockies. The Cubs still were awaiting X-ray results.
† Third baseman Ian Stewart was scratched from the lineup against the Rockies because of a problem with his right quad. The Cubs said his status is day-to-day.
† Second baseman Darwin Barney was a late scratch from the lineup against the Diamondbacks because of tightness in his left side that has been bothering him for a few days.
† The Cubs sent right-hander Aaron Kurcz (5-4, 3.28 ERA at Class A Daytona in 2011) to the Boston Red Sox as the player to be named in the Theo Epstein compensation package. The Cubs still are owed a player from the