{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Pignatiello, Marshall up for final spot

Pignatiello, Marshall up for final spot

|
MESA, Ariz. -- Left-handers Carmen Pignatiello and Sean Marshall may want to stay away from the blackjack tables and slot machines in Las Vegas the next two days. They're competing for one spot in the Cubs' bullpen, and the stakes are high.

Lou Piniella had indicated he wanted Marshall for the spot, created by Scott Eyre's elbow injury. Eyre did play catch on Thursday, but is expected to be placed on the disabled list at the start of the season.

However, Piniella switched on Thursday, and said Pignatiello was making a strong case for himself.

"The way Pignatiello is pitching, it's starting to make you review your choice a little bit," Piniella said. "Not that we don't like Marshall -- we do like Marshall. This young man [Pignatiello] has really pitched well this spring and he's pitching with confidence and he's done that role before."

In 10 innings over 10 games, Pignatiello has given up one run on five hits and no walks, and the one run was because of a dropped ball. He's been throwing an effective sinker and curveball, and has been tested in late-inning situations.

"He's made us re-think," Piniella said. "We're going to take this decision to Vegas."

Marshall has been used as a starter, and Piniella acknowledged the Cubs probably should have used the lefty in relief roles earlier this spring.

"We didn't think we'd have room on the roster for two lefties," Piniella said. "If we had done this a couple weeks ago, we'd have a clear-cut answer."

Eyre said he was still experiencing some pain in his elbow after playing catch Thursday.

"It's not free and clear yet," Eyre said. "But I'm not worried about it."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español