Sveum “don’t care” what critics thinkContinue reading.
No hot seat for Sveum, despite fan outcry
ST. LOUIS — If the outside voices are raising the volume and the heat on Dale Sveum, the second-year Cubs manager isn’t even close to being on a hot seat with management.
The struggles and use of ex-closer Carlos Marmol – whose $20 million deal expires in 14 weeks – seems of little concern to a front office more focused on long-term rebuilding.
Team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer admittedly gave Sveum little on the roster to work with, particularly in several everyday position areas and the bullpen.
And they’re casually backing their manager the day after his decision to use the combustible Marmol in a save situation resulted in four quick runs and a loss on a pair of mammoth home runs by a pair of marginal hitters.
“I think he’s kept the guys really upbeat. I think he continues to relate really well with the players,” Hoyer said. “And [as far as] the talent on the team, we’re not up to par right now with the Cardinals and the Reds. Those are really strong and mature organizations, and that’s what we’re trying to get to.
“In the meantime, he’s doing his best with the product that we have. And that’s on Theo and me, the talent.”
That doesn’t mean fans enduring a fourth straight losing season – at premium ballpark prices – aren’t losing their patience.
The decision on Sunday to give Marmol his first save chance since April 23 with closer Kevin Gregg unavailable became an easy target when Marmol had what might actually be his worst blown save yet.
Gregg had been used in four straight, and the next-best reliever this year, James Russell, had been used in the eighth for matchup reasons.
“If [rookie] Blake Parker goes in that game and blows a save, then you ask, `Why is Blake Parker throwing in a save situation?’ “ Hoyer said.