Sveum understands the limit of patience

Dale Sveum is hoping the Cubs can continue to improve on their home record from last season. Kyle Terada/US Presswire

Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum has empathy for all those fans who are tired of seeing the Cubs lose. After 101 defeats a year ago he knows there is only so much a fan can take.

"You can only have so much patience," he said before the Cubs home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. "They were great through some hard times last year and understanding the process going on in the organization. It's only so much you can take, especially when you have some of the best fans in the country."

Sveum is hopeful playing well at home this year will serve the fans well. On Sunday he noted they were just a "couple games under .500" at home last year -- actually they were 38-43 -- and thinks they can do better in 2013.

"It's not just Chicago," Sveum said. "We have a following throughout the whole country. The patience has to give way sometimes. That's just the nature of the beast."

Marmol's Role

Sveum further explained when demoted reliever Carlos Marmol would pitch after a roller coaster first week closing games.

"He'll work in games where we're behind in the middle of the game and build some confidence back up," Sveum stated. "He has to work on pitch selection. We want him to throw more fastballs than last year but we also don't want him to be fastball happy. He gets guys out with his slider."

Barney Still Out

Second baseman Darwin Barney was hopeful to have his stitches removed from his left knee on Monday but doctors told him they'll come out later this week. Barney hurt himself tracking down a foul pop-up in the Cubs final preseason game in Houston on March 30. After the stitches come out he'll go on a minor league rehab assignment for a few games before re-joining the Cubs. He's eligible to come off the disabled list this weekend.