CHICAGO – Individual highlights have been few and far between this season for veteran Cubs relief pitcher Carlos Marmol.
However, a big moment is on the horizon.
Marmol, 29, needs one more save to become the fourth pitcher in Cubs history to register 100 saves for the franchise. He earned his fourth save of the season and the 99th of his career Tuesday with a scoreless ninth inning against the White Sox.
Lee Smith is the Cubs’ all-time leader with 180 saves, while Bruce Sutter (133 saves) and Randy Myers (112 saves) are the only others who have cracked triple digits.
At this point, it appears unlikely that Marmol will challenge Smith’s franchise record. He entered Wednesday with a 1-2 record and a 5.49 ERA in 24 appearances, and he is due to become a free agent after next season if he is not traded first.
Tee it up: Injured Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart said he planned to hit off a tee this weekend in the next step in his recovery from a sore left wrist.
Stewart received a cortisone shot this week to alleviate pain in his hand and wrist, which has bothered him sporadically since he was a prospect in the Colorado Rockies organization five years ago. He said he expected to receive another cortisone shot in about six weeks, and offseason surgery remained a possibility.
“The doctor and [trainer] really want me to make sure that I take my time letting the cortisone get in there and do its job,” Stewart said. “It usually does take three to five days of no activity to let it work. So, that’s why we’ll start off slow with it and make sure that we don’t rush back into it and then have a setback.”
Stewart, 27, is hitting .201 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 55 games.
Perfect timing: The Cubs were scheduled to board a plane to Arizona after Wednesday’s game in preparation for a three-game series against the Diamondbacks that starts Friday.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who lives in Arizona, said he looked forward to attending his teenage son’s baseball game today. Another rare luxury would follow.
“You’re always looking forward to sleeping in your own bed,” Sveum said.
Other Cubs players planned to enjoy their day off in the desert with a round of golf.
Hopefully, they pack sunscreen. Today’s forecast calls for a high of 109 degrees.
Quick hits: Back-to-back wins by Matt Garza and Travis Wood this week marked the first time that Cubs starting pitchers have won consecutive team games since April 12-13 against the Milwaukee Brewers. … Catcher Geovany Soto was not in the starting lineup Wednesday as part of a scheduled day off to rest his knees.