MESA, Ariz. -- When it comes to looking for outside help via waivers or players released late in spring training, anybody the Cubs might consider will have to beat out Steve Clevenger for that last bench spot.
Don't count on recently released Bill Hall (Angels) or Chone Figgins (Marlins) doing that. Both struggled mightily the last two seasons offensively, and Hall has been sidelined most of the month with calf and quad injuries.
"Chone figgins would be one that would be interesting," said manager Dale Sveum, who knows Hall better from their days together in Milwaukee but didn't say anything about Hall when asked about both. "[Figgins] switch hits, he can play the outfield, he can run, he can play the infield, he can do a lot of things that way. That's kind of more of a super utility guy.
"But you're also looking for a left-handed bat that can hit the ball out of the ballpark, too. That would be the perfect scenario - some left-handed bat that has some versatility that can hit the ball out of the ballpark."
In other words, Clevenger. He has performed well as a pinch-hitter both last season and this spring, has power and can play some first base and possibly third or second in a pinch. And Sveum loves the idea of having a third catcher on the roster who would allow him to use switch-hitting backup Dioner Navarro more freely off the bench.
Infielder Alberto Gonzalez is the only other in-house option left on the spring roster, but Sveum clearly is leaning toward Clevenger, barring an acquisition that bumps him off the opening roster.
"We're in no panic,'' Sveum said. "We've got a pretty decent situation."