06/27/12 2:25 PM ET
Rizzo to stay in No. 3 spot against righties and lefties
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Rizzo, the highly touted first baseman who went 2-for-4 Tuesday in his Cubs debut, hit .313 against left-handers at Triple-A Iowa. That's one reason Sveum left him in the No. 3 spot.
"You want to get some stability in this lineup," Sveum said Wednesday. "You call people up who are going to be here a long time, you just want to leave them alone. [Starlin] Castro and [Rizzo], we'll see what happens. I don't want to keep moving things around, because then you can't protect this guy or that guy, and it snowballs into another problem. We're committed to this lineup and lefties will be what they are. Those two guys will be in the same spot from now on."
Castro has batted .311 in 24 games in the No. 2 spot and .296 in 50 games in the No. 3 spot this season.
"We've tried to mix and match and tried to figure something out to create some offense," Sveum said. "Now, you've got a third hitter and a second hitter and it's pretty much going to stay that way for the rest of the year."
Rizzo, 22, was able to get his pregame work done without being followed by cameras on Wednesday, and said he didn't think it would be difficult to maintain his routine.
"It's just about getting comfortable now," he said. "It's just going day by day and working my tail off."
For Rizzo fans, note that he doesn't have a Twitter account.
"I did have one but I shut it down -- too much for me to handle," he said.
And what about wearing No. 44? That was the number the Cubs assigned him in Spring Training. He wore No. 27 with the Padres.
"Forty-four, they gave it to me in Spring Training, and it grew on me," he said.
Wells designated to possibly open spot for Soler
CHICAGO -- The Cubs appear to be making room on the roster for Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler.
On Wednesday, pitcher Randy Wells was designated for assignment, and right-handed pitcher Rafael Dolis was recalled from Triple-A Iowa. Wells did have options left, but by designating him, he was removed from the Cubs' 40-man roster, which is now at 39.
On June 11, there were reports the Cubs had won the bidding for Soler, and the outfielder had agreed to a nine-year, $30 million contract. The Cubs have declined to confirm the signing.
Soler, 20, was declared a free agent in early June and was courted by several teams. The Cubs and Soler need to complete the deal before Tuesday, or else they will be subjected to the new Basic Agreement guidelines, which will limit spending on international prospects to $2.9 million per team without penalty.
When asked about Soler on Tuesday, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said he had no update.
A power-hitting right-handed hitter, Soler played for the Cuban national team in the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship, batting .304 with a .500 on-base percentage and .522 slugging percentage. He defected in 2011.
Wells was 1-2 with a 5.34 ERA in 12 Major League games, including four starts, and 2-2 with a 7.71 ERA in six starts with Iowa. He struggled on Tuesday against the Mets, giving up three runs on six hits and four walks over three-plus innings.
"The command and the walks are still a major issue," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He's got to get better at that. Those things are killing him and the pitch count gets up so high, he can't even get to five innings. He's got to go down and get better at that."
Wells could go back to Iowa if he is not claimed by another team.
Dolis began the season on the Cubs' Opening Day roster, and posted a 2.79 ERA in his first 16 outings. He replaced Carlos Marmol as the closer, but then struggled in his last seven games, giving up 10 earned runs over six innings. He was optioned to Iowa on May 28. In 11 relief appearances in Iowa, he compiled a 2.92 ERA, striking out 13 over 12 1/3 innings.
Marmol becomes fourth Cub to record 100 saves
CHICAGO -- Carlos Marmol became the fourth Cubs pitcher to save 100 games, joining Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter and Randy Myers.
Marmol's save in the Cubs' 5-3 win over the Mets was his fifth of the season. The right-hander lost the job earlier this year, and is 3-for-3 in save opportunities this month.
"It's the one spot where you stand on the mound and you're the only guy who can close the game out," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Not everybody, as we well know, can get those final three outs of the game. They're the most difficult three outs there are.
"Only certain people can do it and some people have longevity doing it, and they usually go to the Hall of Fame and the rest of them are hit or miss, year to year," Sveum said. "It's a nice accomplishment to have 100 saves."
Smith owns the Cubs record with 180 saves, while Sutter totaled 133 and Myers had 112.
• Since James Rowson took over as the Cubs hitting coach, manager Dale Sveum has seen some differences in the players' approach.
"There's definitely been a change," Sveum said. "You see it a little bit on a daily basis. It's not an easy job and it's not easy to change people's minds and change hitting. Guys have a lot of habits and they're not easy to change."
Rowson was the Cubs Minor League hitting instructor and took over June 12 for Rudy Jaramillo, who was dismissed.
"The good thing about James is he's not afraid to talk to big league hitters, and not jump on them but say, 'Hey, this is what you have to do and some things have to change,'" Sveum said.
• The other Cubs Minor Leaguers can learn from Anthony Rizzo's promotion. The message is: You've got to earn it.
"You're not going to promote people for a .220 average and 30 home runs," Sveum said. "That's not what we want to create here. We want to create quality hitters and keep the line moving. Today's one day when the wind is blowing out, and there are a lot of days when the wind is blowing in."
One player the Cubs are keeping an eye on is Brett Jackson. He's already struck out more than 100 times at Triple-A Iowa.
"It's very alarming," Sveum said. "It's almost a strange occurrence how many there are. Even if he's 3-for-5, the outs are strikeouts. Last night, there were three more. He's on pace to strike out 200 times in a Minor League season, which is not easy to do."
Sveum likes Jackson's bat speed, his quickness, his athleticism, and he's put together some great at-bats.
"It's got to get better," Sveum said.
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.