Injured Cubs Return


Mar. 16, 2012; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger (51) hits a double during the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Cubs went the first month of the season relatively healthy. But once the calendar turned to May, the Cubs were faced with several injuries. catchers Steve Clevenger, Welington Castillo, and Geovany Soto in addition to reliever Carlos Marmol all were placed on the disabled list during the month of May.

It may not be too much of a surprise that the Cubs went on a 12 game losing streak when the Cubs’ lack of depth was glaring brighter than anytime before.

But the injured Cubs are beginning to returns. And in pure coincidence, the Cubs have started to win again. That or the San Diego Padres are worse than the Cubs.

Nonetheless, both Clevenger and Marmol returned to the Major League team after rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs.

We will get the Clevenger in a moment, but lets put the attention on Marmol. Marmol went on the disabled list shortly after being relieved of his duties as the team’s closer. It was a convenient injury for the team’s former closer. However, after a Marmol-esque stint with the I-Cubs, Marmol was ready to return to the Cubs’ bullpen. Marmol’s returns comes while manager Dale Sveum is trying to find a new closer. Rafael Dolis, who had been the team’s closer during Marmol’s time on the disabled list, was optioned to Iowa.

That begs the question will Marmol return to being the team’s closer. As of this post, Sveum has remained firm in his position that Marmol, for the time being, will not be the team’s closer. Though, if the Cubs’ front office is going to be able to trade Marmol this season then Sveum is going to have re-insert the 29 year old reliever back into the closer’s role. Closers are always over-valued around the trade deadline. Meaning their likely will be a team to buy into whatever success Marmol has if he is given a chance to close out games once again. Even under that scenario, the Cubs would likely be forced to absorb the majority of Marmol’s contract.

Clevenger, on the other hand, faces a golden opportunity. Prior to his injury, Clevenger was hitting .500/.522/.727 in 22 at bats this season. Geovany Soto is currently sidelined for the next three to four weeks with a knee injury,and Clevenger should be given an opportunity to see regular playing time. That is if Sveum does not fall in love with Koyie Hill. Ideally, this would have been the perfect time for Welington Castillo to crack the starting lineup. But with Castillo on the disabled list as well, this time give Clevenger a chance to prove to the organization that he is a valuable piece to have for the future.

Koyie Hill started the game at catcher for the Cubs on Tuesday against the Padres.