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Even though the closer gets the headline, the setup man often gets outs that are just as significant.
"Sometimes that is the turning point in the game where you need that guy," Gregg said. "Getting the last three is different from getting those previous six or nine outs. ... Marmol's ability to get five or six outs, it's crazy just to watch him go out there and he dominates lefties and righties. That's one thing he's got working for him. He's resilient."
Rothschild said the decision might not come until three-quarters of the way through spring training.
Marmol said he's ready for either role and won't be upset if Gregg wins the closer job.
"I'm going to take the ball every time that they say," he said. "That's my job. It doesn't bother me. I want to (close), but they are the boss. I'm not a boss of the players."
Notes: Jeff Samardzija and Mitch Atkins are slated to throw two innings each Wednesday in the Cubs' exhibition opener against the Dodgers at HoHoKam Park. Sean Marshall will start Thursday's game against the Brewers and Ted Lilly will go on Friday against Texas. Lilly is scheduled to pitch for the United States in the WBC. ... Rothschild said Rich Harden is probably a week or 10 days behind the rest of the pitchers. Harden, who has a history of arm problems, has been throwing about 25 pitches in side sessions. He'll have that bumped up to 40 before he begins throwing batting practice. Rothschild said he expects him to be ready for the season opener. ... Carlos Zambrano, who pitched a no-hitter last year but also had some shoulder problems, is close to being on his regular spring schedule, Rothschild said. He said the Cubs will spread out Zambrano's appearances in exhibition games as a preventive measure to make sure his shoulder is strong. ... Andrew Cashner, the team's top pick in last year's draft, was impressive while throwing to a hitting group that included Derrek Lee. The 22-year-old Cashner was the 19th pick overall out of TCU. He pitched in eight minor league games last year and is a non-roster invitee.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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