04/04/11 8:25 PM ET
Pena day to day after mild thumb sprain
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Pena was pulled off the bag trying to catch shortstop Starlin Castro's throw on Justin Upton's grounder. The throw was wild and Castro was charged with an error.
Cubs manager Mike Quade said Pena wanted to stay in the game and hit in the eighth, but they opted to use pinch-hitter Reed Johnson. Pena is hitting .200 in four games and contributed a sacrifice fly Monday in the Cubs' 4-1 win over the D-backs.
If Pena can't go Tuesday, the Cubs could use either Jeff Baker or Tyler Colvin at first.
Quade goes right back to Marmol for save
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Mike Quade wanted to get closer Carlos Marmol back into a game as soon as possible after the right-hander blew a save on Sunday, and he did just that.
The Pirates rallied for two runs in the ninth off Marmol to beat the Cubs, 5-4, on Sunday. On Monday, Marmol entered in the ninth against the D-backs and picked up his second save in the Cubs' 4-1 win.
"He blew [five saves] last year and there will be days like that," Quade said Monday.
Quade said he wasn't sure what to expect with Marmol pitching on his second straight day Sunday. The closer did pitch on consecutive days in Spring Training, but the Cactus League is a lot different than the regular season. There's a little more adrenaline now that the season has started.
In the Cubs' first four games, Marmol now has pitched in three games. Last year, he pitched three days in a row three times: May 15-17; June 27-29; and July 24-26.
After Sunday's game, Marmol told reporters he hoped they would come back on Monday to talk to him after he struck out the side.
"That's exactly what he needs to say and that's exactly how he needs to feel," Quade said. "There's the saying that closers need to have a short memory, and he does. He's another guy who has now learned this position and role of his. Just a few years ago, he was an exciting young guy who all of a sudden developed into this incredible closer. I'm glad he feels that way. Look, it's game three of the season."
However, Marmol wasn't that efficient against the D-backs. He did walk the leadoff batter, pinch-hitter Stephen Drew, but got Willie Bloomquist to hit into a force, then struck out Kelly Johnson. Justin Upton flew out to center to end the game.
"If they need me out there, I'll be there," Marmol said.
Quade said he knew it was important for Marmol to get back in a game quickly.
"You understand people wanting to make amends, too," Quade said.
Castro thanks D-backs' Trammell for tutelage
CHICAGO -- When Starlin Castro was walking to the batting cage early Monday, he stopped to say thank you to D-backs bench coach Alan Trammell.
Trammell was the Cubs' infielders coach last season when Castro was called up to the big leagues and spent hours working with the shortstop.
"There are still going to be a few blips along the way," Trammell said of Castro, who entered Monday's game between the Cubs and D-backs batting .615. "There are still some growing pains. Thinking back to my career, we didn't get it done overnight. I saw him earlier today and had a quick conversation, and he thanked me and that means a lot."
On Monday, Castro and Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia were named co-winners of the National League Player of the Week Award for the period ending April 3. Castro led the Major Leagues with a .615 (8-for-13) batting average and a .643 on-base percentage through baseball's opening week. His eight hits were also tops in the Majors while his 1.000 slugging percentage and 13 total bases led the NL.
He began his sophomore season with a 3-for-5 effort in Friday's Opening Day game. On Saturday, he ignited a five-run rally with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to help the Cubs beat the Pirates, 5-3. He went 3-for-4 with two triples on Sunday in the series finale.
Trammell said he'll check the box scores and follow Castro the rest of his career.
"That's how much he means to me," Trammell said.
On Sunday, Castro fielded an infield hit and tried to throw the runner out at first but may have been wiser to pocket the ball. Cubs manager Mike Quade watched a replay of the play half a dozen times Monday morning. It's all part of the learning process.
"Given the fact that the potential winning run was arriving at third, he probably should've held it," Quade said. "If he gets enough on that throw and it's accurate -- and [Pedro] Alvarez doesn't run well -- but I looked at it a half a dozen times this morning and I wasn't positive that he couldn't have gotten him.
"All I think you want to do is make him aware of the importance of the decision in that situation. Even though you might have a shot at the guy, maybe the bigger situation is the potential winning run at third. If that's the biggest lesson we have to teach him, we'll do fine."
Trammell saw a replay of the ninth-inning play, too. It's all part of Castro's growing pains.
"I think we all would agree he has a bright future," Trammell said of Castro, who turned 21 on March 24. "He doesn't have it all yet -- how could he at this young age?"
Trammell couldn't turn down Gibson's offer
CHICAGO -- Alan Trammell said he would've considered returning to the Cubs to be on Mike Quade's coaching staff but couldn't turn down the offer to be reunited with his former Tigers teammate Kirk Gibson, now the manager of the D-backs.
Trammell was Lou Piniella's bench coach for four seasons, and he took the same job with Arizona.
"[Quade] is a good man and I think he's the right man for the job, and I'll remember the four years with him very fondly," Trammell said Monday.
Trammell said he's talked to Piniella a few times since he retired from managing last August. Piniella now is a scout for the Giants but is based in Tampa, Fla., so he's close to home. Does Trammell think Piniella would ever manage again?
"I've been around long enough to say never say never," Trammell said. "I don't think that's his intent, but who knows if somebody comes calling. ... It would have to be something he really wants."
Monday's announced crowd of 26,292 at Wrigley Field marked the first time the Cubs have drawn less than 27,000 at home since Sept. 26, 2002. On that date, the Cubs drew 20,032. "It surprised me today," Chicago's Alfonso Soriano said. "Monday, cold weather, people don't want to get out of their house. When it gets warm, people will come to the game." The Cubs are averaging 33,572 fans after four home games this year. "That ain't bad for a tough day," manager Mike Quade said of Monday's crowd. "They're never dull and they're never quiet, and that's a good thing, no matter how many are here."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.