PIT@CHC: Sveum on Rusin's start, struggles at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- Dale Sveum is signed for next season, but the Cubs manager and his coaching staff are expected to find out their status for 2014 on Monday in meetings with Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations.

"I'm not going to sit here and lie and say you're not wondering what's going to happen four, five days from now," Sveum said Wednesday. "That's just human nature. There's nothing you can do about it, or control those decisions. You just keep plugging away."

Last week, Epstein would not say whether Sveum would return, but said the manager and staff were being evaluated. Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have said Sveum will not be judged on the Cubs' record, knowing that the team is in rebuilding mode. Sveum knew that when he took the job.

"Nothing's really changed," Sveum said. "The bottom line is we haven't won as many games as we'd like to. I knew getting this job there was going to be a good chance of people getting traded for prospects and that we needed to get the Minor League system much healthier and hit the jackpot on some free agents that we signed. Nothing's really changed from what I was told. You're never promised anything."

Sveum, in his second full season as manager, said he understood that Epstein and Hoyer had a checklist.

"That's their job to evaluate the organization on a daily basis," Sveum said. "Wins and losses, they've told everybody they're not evaluating on wins and losses."

The Cubs finish the season in St. Louis with a three-game series, starting Friday. Sveum and his coaching staff are expected to meet Monday in Chicago with Epstein and Hoyer.

"That's part of the gig is knowing the day after the season," Sveum said.

The Cubs have used a franchise record 56 players, with a few of those arriving via trades or waiver claims. Sveum is hoping fans can see the progress in the system, including players such as first-round Draft pick Kris Bryant.

"If anybody pays attention, they know we're much much healthier than we were a couple years ago," Sveum said. "Our Minor League pitcher of the year [Kyle Hendricks] came from a trade, plus the [addition of] C.J. Edwards and the international signings we've had. In two years, it's come a long way. I think the fans know, but patience can go so far."

Sveum wasn't going to alter his style in the final four games.

"I don't try to do anything other than who I am," he said. "That's how I live my life, and that's my personality. I don't let a lot of things bother me or dwell on things. There are frustrations that go with everything, but I don't really take it home with me."

Extra bases

• Rookie Chris Rusin nearly doubled the number of big league starts he made in 2012, and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio sees the left-hander competing for a spot in the rotation next year.

"The thing he has to work on is his secondary pitches," Bosio said Wednesday. "He's much improved since last year. He did a lot of good things this year and things he should be proud of. He made a nice improvement and made a good statement for himself moving into Spring Training, competing for a spot."

Rusin was 2-6 in 13 starts with a 3.93 ERA. He and All-Star Travis Wood could be the first Cubs left-handers to make at least 10 starts and finish with an ERA under 4.00 since Ted Lilly (3.83 ERA) and Rich Hill (3.92) did so in 2007.

"The one thing about Chris is he's fearless," Bosio said. "He needs to work on overall comand and we've seen that in his last couple starts. He's not an overpowering guy and has to be pinpoint and mix his pitches better and not cave in in fastball counts. He made a real good showing for himself and worked hard on glove side fastball command."

• Last season, the Cubs set a franchise record in road losses with 56, and this season, they have set a franchise record in most home losses with 50 entering the final game.

"It's so strange how everything is flip flopped from a year ago," Sveum said. "It's disappointing because the fans have been great. To lose 50 games is something you don't really think about at home. It's difficult to take."

Welington Castillo, who underwent arthroscopic surgery Monday on his right knee to repair a partial tear in his meniscus, was walking around the clubhouse Wednesday, and expected to stay in Chicago for at least two weeks to rehab.

The Cubs catcher, who batted .274 in his first full season as the starter, may continue his rehab at the team's facility in Mesa, Ariz., before returning home to the Dominican Republic.