6/17/2014 6:53 P.M. ET
Sweeney making tough catches look easy
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Ryan Sweeney may not be the fastest outfielder on the Cubs, but he makes up for any lack of speed in his smarts.
Sweeney showed off on Monday in the sixth inning when he snared Adeiny Hechavarria's fly ball in left-center. It was impressive.
"It was the over-the-shoulder, Willie Mays catch in deep left-center field, and everybody thought it would be a triple," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of the play, which came with a runner on third and none out. Hechavarria ended up with a sacrifice fly. "He's made a couple nice catches out there."
Sweeney checked out the video of the play after the game.
"I told [coach Eric Hinske], 'It wasn't as easy as I made it look,'" Sweeney said, then laughed. "I was just joking with him."
The lighting at Marlins Park can make it difficult. There are times when outfielders simply lose baseballs in the neon. The large sculpture in center field isn't a distraction.
"That's behind you, so you don't look at that," Sweeney said. "I just put my head down and ran to a spot."
It was a good move.
"He's a pretty good center fielder, he gets really good jumps, and his routes are really clean," Renteria said.
Hammel says trade rumors come with the territory
MIAMI -- Friends and family call Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel with the latest trade rumors, but he's been able to ignore all the talk.
"I knew about it coming in," Hammel said Tuesday. "It came with the territory and I understand that. I wouldn't sign here if I wasn't capable of dealing with it.
"I just keep going about my business every day."
Hammel, who struck out nine on Monday but did not get a decision in the Cubs' 5-4, 13-inning win over the Marlins, could be the next Cubs starter dealt by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. In the last two years, the Cubs have traded Paul Maholm, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Scott Feldman.
Hammel has asked his agent to only call when there's actual news. So far, the right-hander hasn't heard a word.
"I told him, 'Tell me when something is actually happening,'" Hammel said. "I don't want to hear about the other stuff that's just hearsay."
The Cubs return home Friday, and Hammel knows the media will ask.
"I'll go hide in the lounge," he said.
Pitcher Wood could see more pinch-hit at-bats
MIAMI -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria does not plan on batting Travis Wood sixth in the lefty's next outing, but he may call on his starting pitcher sooner to pinch-hit.
On Monday, Wood delivered a game-winning RBI double in the 13th inning to give the Cubs a 5-4 win over the Marlins.
Wood is the first Cubs pitcher in nearly 25 years -- and the fourth in the expansion era -- with a game-winning RBI in extra innings since Les Lancaster delivered a walk-off RBI double on July 20, 1989, against the Giants. The other two pitchers to deliver were Fergie Jenkins in 1968 and Lindy McDaniel in 1963.
Wood is batting .276 with a career-high nine RBIs. He's hit two home runs this year and has a four-RBI game. The Cubs have been carrying 13 pitchers, so the bench is short-handed. Renteria needs everyone to chip in.
"I think when you have a short bench, it's not unheard of to use a pitcher if you want to save the bench," Renteria said. "You have situations where they may not be as key as that one [Monday]. I think that's always been open for most clubs."
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.