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Marmol to adjust 'release points'
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Usually dependable Carlos Marmol's recent shaky streak can be attributed to some release point issues, the team thinks.


Associated Press file

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Published: 6/23/2008 12:17 AM

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Carlos Marmol just needs to stand a little taller. That's one of the conclusions the Cubs reached Sunday when they looked at video of Marmol's deliveries.

Marmol was part of the skull sessions along with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bullpen coach Lester Strode.

"I think it's just a question of release points," manager Lou Piniella said. "Plus, I think he was too crouched, spinning out of his delivery. So I think you'll see him a little taller so that he can drive down as opposed to come up. Those were the conclusions."

Marmol seemed upbeat about the video session.

"I was looking at video, what I did wrong and what I did good," he said. "I know what I'm doing now. I think (being too low) was a problem. I opened too soon. I'll just stay a little more on top."

Marmol added that he had a stretch like this in 2006, when he was a starter for a time with the Cubs.

"I think I can fix this," he said.

Samardzija to Iowa: The Cubs have promoted right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Class AAA Iowa from Class AA Tennessee. He will start Tuesday for Iowa.

Samardzija, whom the Cubs drafted in 2006 and gave a major-league contract, is 3-5 with a 4.86 ERA at Tennessee. Over his last 5 starts, he has a 2.63 ERA.

"He's getting first-pitch strikes; his delivery is repeating itself," farm director Oneri Fleita said.

As a member of the 40-man roster, Samardzija has been with the big club the last two springs, but Fleita said the promotion does not mean he's soon for the major leagues.

"No, I would never put a time frame on it that way," Fleita said. "He's athletic enough. He's tough enough. This is just an opportunity to keep promoting our players."

For comparison's sake, Tennessee lefty Donnie Veal is 4-5 with a 2.76 ERA.

The Marshall plan: Lefty Sean Marshall showed up at Wrigley Field on Sunday and threw for Larry Rothschild. The Cubs officially will recall Marshall in time to start Tuesday night's series opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Wrigley Field.

Marshall will take the rotation spot of Carlos Zambrano, who is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder.

Ward and Hill: First baseman-outfielder Daryle Ward went 0-for-2 and committed a fielding error at first base Saturday for Class AAA Iowa, as he began his rehab stint. Ward has been out since mid-May with a bulging disc in his lower back. The Cubs would like him to DH against the White Sox this weekend.

Lefty Rich Hill, who has had major command problems since spring training, may head to Arizona to work with pitching coach Rick Tronerud.

The Cubs will get together today and try to decide something on Hill, who struggled at the major-league level and also at Iowa since his demotion.

A first: Historian Ed Hartig points out that the two sets of back-to-back homers in Saturday's fourth inning marked the first time in Cubs history they had back-to-back homers twice in one inning.

Jim Edmonds and Mike Fontenot hit the first pair, and Aramis Ramirez and Edmonds the second.