4/29/2013 9:47 P.M. ET
Fujikawa eyes Sunday start to rehab stint
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa threw 32 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday, his first since going on the disabled list on April 13, and will do so again before he makes a Minor League rehab outing.
Fujikawa, sidelined with a strained right forearm, was expected to join Triple-A Iowa on Sunday if all goes well.
"Things didn't go real crisp today," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the session. "Everything was fine and he felt great and everything, but the location wasn't where we wanted it to be."
• Scott Baker, coming back from Tommy John surgery one year ago, resumed his throwing program on Monday in Mesa, Ariz. Baker threw from about 45 feet.
• Matt Garza, on the disabled list with a strained left lat, was to start Wednesday for Double-A Tennessee, which would be his second Minor League rehab outing. He will make at least three such starts.
• Catcher Steve Clevenger, on the DL with a strained left oblique, was able to catch two bullpen sessions on Monday and is throwing from 120-130 feet. He expected to start swinging a bat early next week.
Sveum sticking with closer by committee
CHICAGO -- Manager Dale Sveum doesn't give the Cubs' relievers a heads up before the game to let them know who the designated closer is that day. He's sticking with the best matchup.
"It's been working," Sveum said Monday. "I'm not going to say it's a fix-all and that you don't want to name a closer. You definitely don't want to rock the boat when things are going good in the back of the bullpen when everybody is healthy and ready to go that night. It could be one of four guys. It depends on the matchups."
The four include Carlos Marmol, Kevin Gregg, Shawn Camp and James Russell.
"After the fifth inning, everybody in that bullpen is on call at any time, depending on how we want to use it in the matchups," Sveum said.
How does Gregg feel about that?
"There's pros and cons to both ways," Gregg said. "You name a closer and you definitely allow guys to slide into a position where they're comfortable and know what they're preparing for. Sometimes that backfires on some guys. That knowing [they're the one], the anxiety gets to them a little bit."
Even if Sveum tells the pitchers that they'll be called on late in the game, some prefer more specific instructions.
"Late in the game in the seventh inning and late in the game in the ninth inning are two different animals," Gregg said. "You have to know what guys are comfortable with, what situations they'll be successful in."
Sveum has joked that it seems the pitchers do better if they don't know who the closer is.
"I think that's Dale's opinion," Gregg said, laughing. "That's fine. If we win, then it doesn't matter how it happens. The bottom line is winning and the bottom line is making sure everybody down there is successful."
Soler sits as corrective measure
CHICAGO -- Jorge Soler was back in the lineup Monday for Class A Daytona after being benched one game for not running out ground balls.
"[Soler] sat because within the philosophy and the work ethic that we are trying to create in this organization -- and that we are trying to get our players to understand -- work ethic, energy, determination, playing hard and running hard is part of the whole program," Daytona manager Dave Keller told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "When you don't do that, then you don't get to play. That's something that has really been emphasized over the last two years."
In 15 games, the Cubs No. 3 prospect was batting .276 with two home runs, three doubles and seven RBIs. The Cuban outfielder already has served a five-game suspension for charging the opponent's dugout, carrying a bat. On Saturday, he was 0-for-4.
"As a coaching staff, we're required to stay on top of it," Keller said. "And we're doing it because work habits create the player, period. When you work, you get better."
Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has emphasized that players at all levels in the organization, play the game the right way.
"Our managers are encouraged to bench players who are giving less than 100 percent effort -- whether that's failure to hustle down the first-base line or failure to properly prepare for a game," Epstein said. "It's our responsibility to make sure every player in the organization demonstrates preparation, hustle and effort every day with no exceptions.
"Playing time is still the best way to get a player's attention. These actions are intended to remain in house. Many players have been benched for this reason already this year and have responded immediately with proper effort. Soler is not alone, and, in fact, he has shown a real interest in learning to play the game the right way."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the best thing is to make sure all players know lackadaisical play is not acceptable.
"The one thing we want to stay in touch with here is accountability," Sveum said. "Not everybody is going to run every single ball out 100 percent. That's just part of the game, but you get a grip on it and hold people accountable and move on."
• Top prospect Javier Baez was named Florida State League Player of the Week after batting .435 with two home runs, three doubles and six RBIs and scored five runs. The infielder is playing for Daytona.
• Outfielder Albert Almora, sidelined at the end of Spring Training with a broken hamate bone (knob of the wrist), began to play in games on Monday in Mesa at the team's facility. Almora, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft and the team'sNo. 2 prospect, has yet to be assigned to a Minor League team.
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.