03/25/12 7:30 PM ET
Lopez hopes he's earned ticket to Chicago
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
The right-hander gave up two runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings on Sunday in the Cubs' 6-2 win over the Indians, and now has given up five earned runs over 16 1/3 innings in his Cactus League appearances.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum has indicated he'll name the final five starters on Wednesday. Has Lopez, 36, convinced the skipper he's a good fit?
"I think I did enough and hopefully that counts for me being in the rotation," the right-hander said. "I expected today to go five, six innings and not give up anything, [which would have been] a good statement. I still think I did a pretty good job. Hopefully, I can be in Chicago pretty soon."
If there isn't a spot in the rotation, Lopez could step into the bullpen and be a long man.
"He's been throwing the ball great this whole Spring Training," Sveum said. "He's really comfortable with his slider, which made him as good as he was in '04 and '05 with Baltimore. That's a must pitch for him to get it with a lot more tilt on it, and that's what he's had in Spring Training."
That would be a huge plus for the Cubs. In '04, Lopez was 14-9 with a 3.59 ERA for the Orioles, and he followed that with a 15-12 season and 4.90 ERA in '05. Lopez agreed that he has a good feel for his slider and felt he had good command of all his pitches.
But if there's no room in the rotation or the bullpen, which was still being sorted out, would Lopez consider going to Triple-A Iowa?
"I don't want to think about that," Lopez said. "My mind is in Chicago. This is not over yet. I don't want to think about that yet. That's why I came here and asked for the opportunity to make the team. I feel like I'm doing enough to be on the team, and we'll see. We'll see what happens."
Marmol, Wood set to see some action
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Carlos Marmol, pulled from a game last week because of cramps in his right hand, was scheduled to throw on Monday for the Cubs. His main setup man, Kerry Wood, will likely get two more appearances this spring before the regular season begins.
Marmol was lifted from a game last Tuesday and underwent an MRI, which revealed no significant nerve injury. The Cubs closer felt some tightness in his neck and shoulders, as well.
Wood had some back problems early in spring, pitched in four games and has not made an appearance since March 18.
"There's no reason for any extra workload," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said on Sunday about Wood.
The light workload was apparently planned before Spring Training began, Sveum said. Wood has also not had any side sessions. Sveum said the right-hander had no other physical problems.
Batting order keeping Sveum awake at night
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Cubs' lineup is keeping Dale Sveum up at night.
Is David DeJesus the best leadoff option? Where should Darwin Barney hit? Or Starlin Castro?
"I've probably lost more sleep over our batting order than anything, as far as camp's gone," Sveum said on Sunday after the Cubs manager talked to his coaching staff about their options. "The last week might have something to do with that lineup. It's who's swinging good, what's going on, who steps up power-wise.
"It's just kind of a funny lineup -- where we don't have that guy, this guy, that second hitter, that leadoff guy, that third hitter," Sveum said. "It's one of those things where it's going to be four days from now where we sit down and say, 'This is what it's going to be Opening Day.'"
DeJesus was expected to be the leadoff man, but is batting .195 with a .298 on-base percentage in 15 games this spring. He's struck out 10 times, and has eight hits.
Barney was hitting .379 and may be a better fit there. Or he could bat second.
"It's a production-oriented business," Sveum said. "The way our lineup lists out, is it a cut-and-dried lineup on a single-day basis? I don't think that's going to happen unless we get true production from all our guys."
Blake DeWitt has impressed Sveum with his ability to move runners over, but he hasn't clinched an everyday spot. Castro has hit third this spring, but is batting .182 with runners in scoring position.
"I don't think anything is etched in stone, except [Alfonso] Soriano is going to be 3-4-5," Sveum said.
Sveum planned to talk to players to see where they're most comfortable. He said the Brewers' Corey Hart preferred to bat first or second, but didn't want to hit fifth in the order.
"Guys are like that and you try to find out through conversation, 'OK, where do you seem to be most comfortable where you can be most productive?'" Sveum said. "Unfortunately, we live in a little bit of a world like that where guys have an idea that no matter where they hit, there's some significance behind it -- instead of just understanding you're going to get pitched the same no matter whether you hit, leadoff or fifth. And it doesn't matter after the first or second inning. That's the world we live in."
Sveum had some lineup issues himself.
"I had a little issue when I hit ninth Opening Day the next year  after I hit 25 home runs and drove in 95 from the ninth spot," Sveum said. "Of course, I wanted to move up. [Brewers manager Tom] Trebelhorn said, 'Why would you move up? You had a good year in that spot -- why would I change it?' I said, 'OK, I've got no answer for that.'"
Opening Day starter Ryan Dempster gave up six runs on eight hits and one walk over five innings in a Minor League game on Sunday at Fitch Park. Dempster threw 88 pitches and struck out four. He'll open the season for the Cubs on April 5 against the Nationals.
Sveum maintained on Sunday that "nothing's etched in stone" as far as the rotation goes, and he'll name the final two starters on Wednesday.
Randy Wells, one of the contenders who pitched in relief on Saturday, will start his next time out. He has not given up a run in 7 1/3 innings.
Jeff Samardzija, who was roughed up in his last outing against the Rockies, was scheduled to start on Wednesday. Chris Volstad appears to have secured a spot, although Sveum would not commit. Volstad has been charged with one run on seven hits over 10 innings in three starts.
Pitcher Andy Sonnanstine, outrighted to the Cubs' Triple-A roster last Thursday, has rejected the assignment and is a free agent. Sonnanstine, 29, appeared in four Cactus League games, giving up eight runs on 13 hits and three walks over five innings. Last season, the right-hander was 0-2 with a 5.55 ERA in 15 games (four starts) with the Rays.
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.