Batting around with Sean Marshall

Batting around with Sean Marshall

Sean Marshall has had a busy offseason. The Cubs pitcher was part of a fan trip to the Dominican Republic to the team's academy there, and if you check YouTube, you'll find a video from the junket (search for Chicago Cubs Dreams La Romana). The lefty could have a busy 2010, too. A swingman the past two seasons, Marshall is a candidate for the fifth-starter spot in the North Siders' rotation. This past season, he appeared in a career-high 55 games, posting a 4.32 ERA, and had the Cubs' first complete game, although it was a rain-shortened five-inning start May 26 against the Pirates. Marshall also makes several appearances on behalf of Cubs Care. At the end of the season, he went to Waukegan, Ill., and helped with a Habitat for Humanity project.

MLB.com: What's the first thing you want to do this offseason?

Marshall: I think I want to get out and play a good round of golf with my brothers. We could go fishing. I'll go back home to Virginia, and we'll go fish one day, golf the next. My dad's a big fisherman. He catches mostly bass. Sometimes, we'll go out on the Chesapeake Bay and go salt-water fishing. That's fun.

MLB.com: When you were growing up, was there a player you idolized?

Marshall: I was a big fan of Don Mattingly when I was growing up. It was cool to meet him, because he's the Dodgers hitting coach now. That was a pretty cool thing. I was fortunate to meet Greg Maddux. He was one of my favorite pitchers growing up, along with Tom Glavine. I had the privilege of meeting all those guys. I grew up watching the Cubs and Braves and Don Mattingly with the Yankees. Those were my three favorite teams when I was a kid.

MLB.com: If you could trade places with someone on the team for a day, who would it be?

Marshall: It'd be cool to play the field and get four at-bats. Maybe play a game in center field or something, and get four, five at-bats and see how I could do.

MLB.com: You did play left field for one at-bat (ninth inning, July 12 vs. Cardinals).

Marshall: That was exciting. The fans were chanting, "We are Marshall." Maybe they could keep that up the whole game.

MLB.com: This offseason, when do you start your workouts?

Marshall: I usually get away from baseball for three, four weeks. I'll play catch. If one of my brothers wants to go out and play catch, I'll do that to keep my arm in shape.

MLB.com: You got started earlier in the offseason last year, right?

Marshall: I only took about two weeks off from working out then. I started my throwing program earlier, and it turned out pretty well. I felt like I was almost full strength by the time of the Cubs Convention [in January]. I'll try to do the same program, although maybe start just a little bit later.

MLB.com: If you could be Lou Piniella for a day, what would you do?

Marshall: It'd be a thrill to be a manager to make the changes and put together a lineup that you think is the best one to win that ballgame and that matches up the best. I think it involves some strategy and a lot of thought. Lou's done a great job in the years I've been here in putting out the best team to win the games. It's not easy. I think he does a really good job. Hopefully, I could do that one day.

MLB.com: Is there a comfort food you crave?

Marshall: I love Italian food. I love pastas and raviolis and pizza. I'm not really a big sweets guy. I'll eat Butterfingers or Snickers bars, but I don't crave them. I like a good meal -- and a good steak anytime.

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