MESA, Ariz. -- Dale Sveum offered an interesting take on Anthony Rizzo's heroic game in Team Italy's 6-5 win over Mexico on Thursday in the World Baseball Classic.
"Yeah, that was fun," Sveum said. "He got a lot of money in his charity."
That's because Sveum and at least four other members of the Cubs pledged $500 to Rizzo's charity if he and Team Italy won a game in pool play. It was Rizzo's two-run double in the top of the ninth off Giants closer Sergio Romo that pushed Italy past a heavily-favored Mexico side, and on Friday Rizzo went walked twice, drove in two runs and scored two runs in Italy's 14-4 win over Canada.
Sveum and his mates' pledge was only good for one game, but now, the Cubs' manager is faced with the prospect of losing Rizzo for at least another week to WBC action.
That's not a big deal to Sveum, though, seeing as he's not out a pitcher during a time when pitch counts and effort are closely monitored. The Giants, for example, are reportedly upset that Romo could pitch again for Mexico a day after throwing 29 pitches.
Cubs-Reds called due to rain
The Cubs and Reds made it through 1 1/2 innings Friday night in Goodyear before the game was called due to rain. The weather in the Phoenix area was spotty all day, featuring plenty of rain, hail and lightning, but the game wasn't cancelled in the afternoon.
Before the game was washed out, Scott Hairston blasted a solo home run and Alfonso Soriano added a double. Minor leaguer Nick Struck started for the Cubs and allowed one run in one inning.
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"Yeah, that's a little scary," Sveum said. "Like (Jason) Grilli throwing something 42 pitches or something, that'd be a little scary."
Given Romo's history of arm trouble, the Giants' concern isn't unwarranted. But Sveum did say that it's around this time in spring training that relievers may begin throwing on back-to-back days.
"If you went today, you'd probably keep him around 20 pitches or something," Sveum said. "This is about that time you starting doing that, then they get three days off or something like that."
Marmol not bothered by trade speculation
With Detroit wavering on rookie closer Bruce Rondon, Carlos Marmol's name popped back up in trade rumors earlier this month. When asked about that speculations, Marmol took a "what, me worry?" approach to his future.
"I don't worry about that. I can't make the decisions, that's for the boss guy to make the decisions," Marmol said. "I can't worry bout that. The only thing I have to worry about, be ready every time they give me the ball."
Marmol threw 25 pitches in 2/3 of an inning Thursday against the White Sox, walking two and letting in an unearned run. He said he's more concerned with working on his pitches and getting his fastball command back than anything else.
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"I don't worry about walks at all, especially here in spring training," Marmol added.
Cubs cut three from camp
The Cubs optioned Matt Szczur to minor league camp and assigned non-roster invitees Dayan Diaz and Michael Brenly to minor league camp, lowering the team's spring roster from 62 members to 59.