ATLANTA – Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum on Sunday named rookie Kyuji Fujikawa the team’s closer.
Fujikawa, who saved 220 games during his career with the Hanshin Tigers, had been Sveum’s setup man through Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves with Carlos Marmol the closer. Fujikawa allowed three runs in the eighth to create a one-run save situation, and Marmol surrendered two solo homers to lose the ballgame and his role.
“We have a long way to go from here,” said the 32-year-old Fujikawa. “One needs to be consistent.”
Sveum mentioned other options before settling on Fujikawa.
“That’s one reason why we signed (Fujikawa), in case something like this happened,” Sveum said. “He’s comfortable getting the last three outs. Instead of sitting here thinking you’re going to do it by committee or anything like that, it was the logical thing to do.”