Dale Sveum is new, and as such should be given the benefit of the doubt. But either he’s a really good liar, or he doesn’t know enough about Carlos Marmol to be worried about his performance so far this spring.
“Breaking balls like his aren’t going to do a whole lot here in Arizona,” Sveum said. “You’re always going to struggle with it, and you’re going to throw it harder and make it spin more and it’s actually a counter effect.
“But I think all along we want him to get his fastball command, [that] is the biggest thing. We know the breaking ball will come back when we head back north. Just mainly getting the fastball, getting work and throwing strikes with the fastball.”
Hasn’t that always been the problem? He can’t throw strikes with the fastball, and when that happens, people know to lay off the slider? Don’t worry, Chris Bosio is on the case, too.
”I know he was overused, and he agrees he was overused last season,” Bosio said. “To his credit, he has worked as hard as any pitcher in camp to regain his skills so far this spring. We are planning to have him use some different grip adjustments to get him back to form.”
Marmol lost some velocity on his fastball last season and became less effective when hitters started to lay off of his slider.
”He is one of those guys that you want to do great ,he never misses a drill.,” Bosio said.
“Marmol is a guy that has the heart of a lion he has great passion, so we are going to work with him and get it right.”
Should we really trust a guy who uses phrases like “heart of a lion”?
”Boz showed me how to shorten my stride and that helped the ball come out of my hand with more leverage,” Kerry Wood said. “It was a simple adjustment that means a lot for me.”
If he’s good enough for Kerry Wood, he should be good enough for the rest of us, too.
If you’ve been wondering what the bench will look like in 2012, it might include Joe Mather, who’s impressed Dale Sveum this spring.
Overall, Mather is 7-for-14 this spring with four extra-base hits and 5 RBIs.
“It’s been pretty impressive to do what he’s done with the bat, especially against right-handed pitching,” manager Dale Sveum said. “It’s not like he’s going out there against left-handed pitching and doing it. It’s just a huge asset to a manager. He can probably play every infield position, maybe get by for a day up the middle.”
“It’s a perfect fit when you have two corner guys that are left-handed hitters, and the right-fielder,” Sveum said. “(Alfonso) Soriano is going to get his days off. So he’s proven that the athletic ability, the base-running and obviously the bat fits our team to a T right now.”
Were I a betting man, I’d say Mather has the inside track after reading that. Let’s just hope he’s not horrible.