Chicago Cubs name Kevin Gregg closer
By Paul Sullivan
MESA, Ariz. - Cubs manager Lou Piniella named Kevin Gregg the team's closer on Sunday over Carlos Marmol.
Piniella spoke to both pitchers this morning and made his announcement after batting practice at HoHoKam Park.
Piniella's difficult decision was made even harder because he knows what Marmol can do while heís only just learning about Gregg.
Statistically speaking, Gregg has outperformed Marmol this spring, throwing 8 1/3 shutout innings in nine appearances. Marmol has compiled a 4.50 earned-run average and hit five batters in eight innings, not counting his numbers from the World Baseball Classic. Marmol and Gregg both have 10 strikeouts, while Marmol has walked one and Gregg has walked two.
The Cubs should be fine in the late innings if both pitch up to their capabilities.
The bigger concern is how to get better performances in 2009 out of Chad Gaudin, Luis Vizcaino and Neal Cotts, who will be the teamís only left-hander out of the bullpen.
Otherwise, Ted Lilly makes his first Cactus League start since late February against Cleveland this afternoon, facing his old friend Mark DeRosa.