Maddon offers take on Marte suspension

No. 1 Cubs prospect Jimenez DH'ing in extended spring training

Maddon offers take on Marte suspension

CHICAGO -- On Saturday, Starling Marte was one of four Pirates to hit a home run in an 8-7 win over the Cubs. On Tuesday, Marte was suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon preferred to look forward rather than consider what happened over the weekend.

"I'm just glad the drug policies, the drug enforcement has been working," Maddon said. "I believe when something like this occurs, as we continue to move forward, whatever is falling through the cracks eventually won't any more."

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer didn't want to comment on a misstep by a player on another team, but said Marte's suspension is another reason for players not to try to take shortcuts.

"You have to rely on the character of the guys you brought in," Hoyer said. "As far as addressing it, you hope everyone in your group is playing by the rules and playing fairly. Like I said, we need to worry about our own house and not comment on someone else's house."

• Eloy Jimenez, ranked No. 1 on MLBPipeline.com's list of top 30 Cubs prospects, has been playing in extended spring training in Arizona as the designated hitter. Jimenez suffered a bone bruise in his right shoulder during a Cactus League game. Hoyer said there is no timetable for when Jimenez will play outfield or will join one of the Cubs' Minor League affiliates.

Meanwhile, Ian Happ, ranked second on MLBPipeline.com's list, has been playing third base at Triple-A Iowa.

Happ, Candelario shine for Cubs

"We're trying to create as much versatility as we possibly can," Hoyer said. "At corner outfield and second base, he's put a lot of work in. Why not get some work in at third and increase his versatility for us?"

Happ was batting .286 in 12 games and led the Pacific Coast League with six home runs.

• Heading into Tuesday's game, Kyle Schwarber had reached base to lead off a game seven times in 13 plate appearances, including the past three contests. His .538 on-base percentage leading off the game ranked second in the Majors among players with at least 10 such plate appearances to the Padres' Manuel Margot (.583).

Schwarber's bunt single

Hoyer likes the way Schwarber has handled the leadoff duties, as well as the combination of Schwarber, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.

"It's certainly intimidating if you're the other team and you have to come out and face those three guys to begin the game," Hoyer said. "I think they have to bring their 'A' game in the first inning."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.