At this point in the season, teams far out of the pennant race maintain their desire to win while also understanding they have a chance to prepare for the future. With the rosters now expanded, the Marlins and Cubs are two teams taking the opportunity to evaluate some of their younger talent.
When they take the field Tuesday night for the second contest of their three-game series at Wrigley Field, both teams could have some new faces in their clubhouses.
Miami recalled pitchers Arquimedes Caminero and Brad Hand, as well as catcher Rob Brantly from Triple-A New Orleans. The club has also selected the contract of left-hander Brian Flynn.
Meanwhile, Chicago will likely add four or five more players. But Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the team is not going to sacrifice results now just for the sake of evaluating players, especially since some of their younger talent is already on the roster.
"The integrity of the game is involved, but it's not like we're going to have kids up here or anything like that to play," Sveum said. "We're not going to change our lineup. We have the hardcore players who will play. [Ryan] Sweeney, [Brian] Bogusevic, [Junior] Lake will rotate against righties and the rest will be pretty much our regular lineup."
Tom Koehler will be on the mound for the Marlins on Tuesday night. The right-hander is coming off a rough start against the Nationals, when he gave up six runs on seven hits over five innings. Miami ended up losing the game, 9-0.
Since he joined the rotation on May 12, Koehler is 3-9 with a 4.89 ERA.
Edwin Jackson will take the ball for the Cubs. The righty allowed four runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings against the hot Dodgers on Wednesday.
Jackson has struggled against the Marlins in his career. In nine games [eight starts], Jackson is 1-6 with a 6.39 ERA. In his only start against Miami this season, he allowed three runs in six innings in Chicago's 4-3 win back on April 25.
While the Marlins and Cubs are preparing for another year without a postseason appearance, this last month of the season is still important for both teams. It's a chance to see some younger players and promising talent that will ultimately help turn around their respective organizations.
But it won't come at the expense of wins.
"The bottom line is we're still going out there trying to win every game we can," Sveum said.
Cubs: Sweeney returns hot at the plate
Ryan Sweeney was activated from the 60-day disabled list prior to the Cubs' series finale against the Phillies on Sunday. He finished his first game back 1-for-3 with a walk, and hit an RBI single in the first inning to contribute to Chicago's 7-1 win over the Phillies.
"To get that first at-bat under the belt was huge," Sweeney said after Sunday's game.
Sweeney proved that on Monday, when he went 2-for-4 with a double. Sweeney had been on the disabled list with a left rib fracture, which he suffered in a June 29 game against the Mariners.
Marlins: Yelich on a tear
After going 2-for-3 with two walks on Sunday against Atlanta, Christian Yelich finished Monday's game against the Cubs 3-for-4 with a solo homer in the first inning.
Miami's left fielder now has four multihit games in his last six contests, and has 10 hits in his last 22 at-bats (.455).
• Chris Coghlan and Giancarlo Stanton are both 3-for-7 (.429) against Edwin Jackson.
• Starlin Castro is hitting .310 in his last 10 games, and he has hit safely in nine of them.
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.