MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs pitcher Carlos Marmol was pulled from Tuesday's 6-2 split-squad loss to the Rangers because of a cramp in his right hand and was to undergo an MRI as a precautionary measure.
Marmol started the seventh inning against the Rangers and got the first two batters out, then hit Chris Robinson. Marmol threw two pitches to Mike Olt and manager Dale Sveum noticed the pitcher flexing his right hand. Sveum and athletic trainer Ed Halbur went to the mound and the right-hander was lifted, although Marmol argued to stay in the game.
"When I talked to him, it was something he said he had before and it always seems to happen in Spring Training," Sveum said. "It was a cramp in his hand. There was nothing in his elbow, forearm, nothing like that. He wasn't too worried about it. He said, 'It's fine now, it's gone away,' and he wanted to stay in the game."
This was Marmol's sixth spring appearance and third in a row in which he was not scored upon. In his last three outings, he's given up one hit and walked two while striking out two over 2 2/3 innings. In his previous two outings, he'd been charged with seven runs on six hits over 1 2/3 innings.
Sveum said when he first saw Marmol's reaction after his last pitch, he was worried that the injury was more serious.
"Thank God it was just [a hand cramp] -- that was kind of a throw that looked like an elbow thing," Sveum said.