Piniella names Wood as Cubs closer, Marquis as fifth starter
ESPN.com news services
Updated: March 24, 2008, 1:51 PM ET
Making three appearances in four days was apparently enough for Cubs manager Lou Piniella to name former starter and oft-injured pitcher Kerry Wood as Chicago's closer for the 2008 season.
Wood struck out two in a scoreless inning Sunday against the Padres and has a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings this spring with 10 strikeouts and no walks.
Piniella quashed any ideas about a closer-by-committee saying Monday that the job was Wood's alone.
"There's no reason he can't pitch three days in a row," Piniella said.
Piniella also said Jason Marquis would be the team's fifth starter while Jon Lieber would hold down the role of long reliever.
Piniella admitted the Cubs would likely need more than five starters during the course of the long season and having Lieber work in long relief will help keep his innings count more in line with a starting pitcher.
As far as other questions surrounding the Cubs batting order, shortstop Ryan Theriot will lead off while left fielder Alfonso Soriano will hit second. Felix Pie has won the starting job in center field and will bat eighth.
ESPN.com's Keith Law and The Associated Press contributed to this report.