CHICAGO -- When it comes to turning relief pitchers into starters, Lou Piniella seems to content to limit the experiment to Ryan Dempster for now.
New York Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain has nearly completed a mid-season transition out of the bullpen and into the starting rotation.
Several Cubs relievers have recent starting experience. Neal Cotts and Michael Wuertz went through the Minor Leagues as starters. Kerry Wood and Jon Lieber spent well-documented years in the Cubs rotation, each making an All-Star game.
Sean Marshall worked out of the bullpen for a month before being optioned to Triple-A Iowa to strengthen his arm enough to start in the big leagues again.
But perhaps the best case for considering a switch on the current roster would be Carlos Marmol, who was starting as recently as two years ago. Lou Piniella laughed at the notion.
"If I were to switch someone like Marmol, I think I'd just go home and sit in a hammock for the rest of the summer and enjoy the ocean breezes down in Florida," Piniella said on Friday.
Marmol spent three seasons starting in the Minors after originally being signed as a catcher-outfielder out of the Dominican Republic.
He posted a 5-6 record and a 5.99 ERA in 13 starts in his debut season with the Cubs in 2006.
But he has found his niche as an eighth-inning stopper out of the bullpen this year, joining Bob Howry in setting up Wood. Piniella isn't going to mess with that.
"The top end of our bullpen has been very strong," Piniella said. "They've been doing a very nice job."
Nick Zaccardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.