CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum doesn't have a specific checklist of things he wants Carlos Marmol to do to return to his role as the closer. In fact, rookie Rafael Dolis and lefty James Russell could take over for the rest of the season.
Marmol walked the first two batters he faced in the eighth on Monday, then regrouped and escaped the mess. He struck out the Braves' Brian McCann and Dan Uggla to end the inning. What Sveum wants to see is not just a confident pitcher, but also Marmol throwing something other than his slider.
"[He threw a] 3-2 slider to a guy who can't hit the ball out of the ballpark," Sveum said. "Those are the kind of things I want to start seeing before I put him back in the closer's role -- to be able to throw a 3-2 fastball and see how far it can get hit."
Dolis has a win and a save in his last two outings.
"I'm not going to make change to make change," Sveum said. "If Dolis is doing well and Russell is doing well in that role, I won't make change to make change."
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein liked how Marmol said he responded to the fans' booing by turning it into something positive and motivating him.
"I think everyone has to recognize he wants to succeed as much as anyone else," Epstein said. "No one wants to go out there and fail, especially in a role where you let your teammates down. He's paid a lot of money to do a job and he's got a lot of support around him, so it's up to him to put the work in and fix himself. I haven't seen any signs of him backing down, so as long as he gives the effort and faces his challenges head-on, we're going to support him and get him where he needs to be to help us."