Carlos Marmol is the Cubs' closer now, and he'll be the Cubs' closer next spring, according to manager Lou Piniella.
"I see that, yes," Piniella said Monday. "I really do. I think he's done enough and shown enough. We have confidence in him enough going into spring training next year. It's his job. We'll leave it just at that."
Marmol has 13 saves overall and 10 in a row since taking the job from Kevin Gregg last month. However, control continues to be a problem for Marmol.
In 672/3 innings, he has given up 38 hits while walking 61 for a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 1.46. Last year, Marmol's WHIP was 0.93. He also has hit 12 batters.
Over the weekend, Piniella seemed exasperated with Marmol, saying that closers need to have command.
Set for surgery: Left fielder Alfonso Soriano admitted to be nervous about today's arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He also cited one benefit.
"I'd like to steal some bases," he said. "I hope to be 100 percent next year, and you see me like I like to play. Do everything I can to make this team better."
Team orthopedist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo will operate on Soriano, who then will begin an intensive six-week rehab, with about half of it coming under the supervision of the Cubs' training staff and the other half back home in the Dominican Republic.
"It gives him about a month or so of working with our team of specialists," Lou Piniella said. "He'll start working with our strength people and our trainers for another three weeks or a month before he goes home."
Spin doctor: Kosuke Fukudome's hitting coach from Japan, Kyosuke Sasaki, has been at Wrigley Field this homestand. That's not a minute too soon as far as the Cubs are concerned. Fukudome entered Monday 0-for-11 on the homestand.
"He's been spinning a little bit," Lou Piniella said. "How many times have you seen him hit the ball to left field? Not much. When you isolate only one field, that's not good. He needs the whole field to hit with and not become so pull conscious. When you start spinning, that's what you do."
Minor-league honors: Outfielder Kyler Burke and pitcher Casey Coleman are the Cubs' minor-league player and pitcher of the year, respectively. Burke, who played for Class A Peoria, had a .405 on-base percentage, a Midwest League-leading 43 doubles and 15 homers. Coleman, who is pitching in the playoffs for Class AA Tennessee, won 14 games in the regular season and 1 in the postseason.