Carlos Marmol OK after hand cramp
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org March 20, 2012 9:20PM
Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carlos Marmol throws during a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Updated: April 22, 2012 10:17AM
MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs apparently survived an injury scare with closer Carlos Marmol on Tuesday when a hand cramp forced him out of a game against the Texas Rangers.
Marmol said the hand returned to normal quickly and he seemed unconcerned, but the team sent him for an MRI exam anyway. Results are expected Wednesday.
‘‘Thank God it was just that,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘It was kind of a throw where it looked like an elbow thing that you see all the time.’’
Marmol retired the first two batters of the inning, hit the third, and on the third pitch to Mike Olt, he came up shaking his hand and looking toward the trainer. Marmol said the hand cramped in his palm near the base of his index and middle fingers.
‘‘It was out of nowhere. I don’t know where it came from,’’ Marmol said. ‘‘Then after I threw that pitch, like 20 seconds [later], I felt great.
‘‘I wasn’t scared at all. I know my body. I feel great. I feel normal. That’s a good thing.’’
Not surprisingly, left-hander Travis Wood said this is the worst spring training he has ever had. The only thing worse is that it comes after being traded for the first time.
‘‘Exactly, in a new place,’’ said Wood, who has yet to have a good outing, pitching his way out of contention for a rotation spot. ‘‘You get traded for a guy like [Sean] Marshall, who’s an outstanding pitcher, you want to come over here and show them what you can do. And I haven’t been.
‘‘But it’s all going to work out. I’m going to get it together and get after it.’’
Wood, who has given up 19 earned runs, eight walks and 19 hits in four appearances (including an intrasquad game), will try to work out the kinks in a minor-league game and might be used in relief in a big-league game, Sveum said.
‘‘Right now I think it’s more confidence than anything,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘Hopefully, if we can just see him get through a quick inning and build confidence through that, you might have something.’’
Struggling first baseman Bryan LaHair (7-for-37, one double) spent Monday at Fitch Park, getting nine at-bats in a minor-league game and looking better at the plate, according to reports. In the split-squad game Tuesday against the A’s, LaHair singled to right in his first at-bat, then struck out three times and went 1-for-5.
◆ Left-hander Chris Rusin was reassigned to minor-league camp, just ahead of what’s expected to be the biggest round of cuts Thursday.