Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

LeMahieu sent down -- but not out of Cubs' big picture

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The Cubs get their rookie second baseman back from the disabled list Wednesday - one day after sending the kid who might be their future third baseman back to the minors.

The Cubs are a long way from being able to reliably project their Opening Day infield for next year, much less the year after. But the way manager Mike Quade talks about rookie infielder DJ LeMahieu, don't be surprised to see the kid get a chance to stick as a third baseman the next time he shows up during the 25-man roster period.

``There probably would be a debate among our people in the minor-league system about where he's better,'' Quade said of LeMahieu's fielding at second and third. ``I respect those people, and if they're not sure, that means he's probably pretty good at both. From what I've seen at second, I've been real happy, so if he's equally adept at third, that's a good thing, for sure.''

Especially with Darwin Barney - who returns from a knee injury today - in the process of locking down second base.

Barney, who finished up a minor-league rehab assignment with a 2-for-3 game Tuesday for AAA Iowa, is expected in the lineup Wednesday night, equipped with a knee brace.

``Barney right now has established himself, no question,'' Quade said. ``DJ's career, maybe he winds up at third. Sometimes an opportunity presents itself elsewhere if you're able to handle elsewhere.''

Third base should be open by next spring, with incumbent Aramis Ramirez expected to become a free agent (pending the Cubs buying out his $16 million option).

LeMahieu, the first Cub from the 2009 draft (second round) to make it to the big leagues, hit .243 with a double in his 23-game debut, mostly at second base filling in for Barney.

``He's handled himself extremely well. He hasn't been in awe,'' Quade said. ``It's great anytime you can get guys that you're looking at for future help to come up and handle themselves as well as he did.''

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Well, Gordon, I still seem to be the only one reading and/or commenting on your blog, so I will continue our dialogue. The last two games have been great. There were still elements that were frustrating, but the come-back victories were phenomenal. Seeing Barney back in form was gratifying in spite of the missed pop-up. Ironies in both of the last two games were indicative of the stupidity of some rules regarding winning pitchers, but I do not have alternative suggestions. Do you?I'm referring to the fact that Marmol blew a save and got the win, and that Grabow gave up the lead run to the Giants, breaking the eleven innings of shut-out ball and yet got the win in the bottom of the thirteenth.Crazy that the Cubs' worst pitcher of the day got the win two days in a row. Now , if the Cubs can win today, they'll have their first three-in-row victory string. Go Cubs!!

By the way, where have Pena, Ramirez and Sotoi been up until the last week or so? Good lLord, even Hill hit a home run the other day The sky is falling! The sky is falling!.

I just watched Garza lose a complete game 1-0 because the Cub hitters are too undisciplined to be believed.Castro has an excuse because he is young and depressingly inexperienced, but Soriano and Ramirez should be able to have quality at-bats every time at this stage of their careers. How about fines for stupidity with Quade as judge? He could fine the pitching and hitting coaches as well.Football players are held more accountable.I guess the Cub batters are trying to set an all-time record for not getting hits with runners in scoring positions. Perhaps someone should tell them that record is "more honored in the breach than the observance."

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on June 28, 2011 11:03 PM.

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