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

Cubs' Clevenger earns third degree

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MESA, Ariz. - Finally.

In the third game he got sent out to man third base, catcher Steve Clevenger showed he might just be able to handle the spot if needed - finally getting a couple of grounders hit his way Wednesday night against Kansas City, including a rocket by catcher Salvador Perez in the sixth.

He started a double play on the more routine grounder in the fourth and smothered Perez's shot, then made a strong throw for third out to strand a runner at third.

"That was kind of fun," said Clevenger, who has earned the final bench spot, pending a possible last-minute waiver claim. "You sit there and wonder when you don't get any ground balls, `Can I really do it?' Then you get a couple grounders and you get comfortable out there."

He doesn't need to get too comfortable.

"We're not going to ask him to set the world on fire or play there every day or anything like that," manager Dale Sveum said, "but in certain situations that might come up to get his bat in the lineup or double switch, [he might play third]."

Sveum was just happy to see Clevenger finally get a chance to field the position and prove he can he used there. Mostly, he'll be a lefty pinch-hitter who also gives the Cubs the luxury of using backup, switch-hitting catcher Dioner Navarro in a bigger role.

And he's Anthony Rizzo's backup at first, where he played most of Thursday's game.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on March 28, 2013 4:29 PM.

Cubs' Sveum on closer Marmol: "No worries" was the previous entry in this blog.

Cubs' Samardzija ready to get it started is the next entry in this blog.

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