Making room for Fox
Neither Jake Fox nor Jason Waddell had anywhere to put their gear when they showed up Wednesday at Wrigley Field because there wasn’t an open locker. The Cubs need to make room for Fox, who was leading the Pacific Coast League in the triple crown categories: batting average (.423), home runs (17) and RBIs (50).
“Any time you start off like that, it’s a great surprise,” Fox said of his amazing numbers. “I feel like it’s carried over from the end of last season to Winter Ball and Spring Training. I’ve gotten my swing to where I need it to be. I feel very consistent at the plate. I feel I have a consistent appraoch every time.”
Even though his power numbers are impressive, what Lou Piniella liked to see was Fox’s 14 doubles. The Cubs rank 15th in the National League in doubles with 71. They simply haven’t been driving the ball. Now, they have to find a place for Fox to play.
“We’ll see how we can get him incorporated into our scheme of things,” Piniella said of Fox, who worked out at third and in the outfield on Wednesday. “He’ll try to catch a few ground balls at third, try to catch a few in the outfield, play at first base. If nothing else, he’ll be a nice bat off the bench. When we play against the American League, he comes into play DH-wise.”
Fox did admit he was getting antsy at not being called up but Iowa manager Bobby Dickerson advised him to focus on what he could control. That’s it. As for hitting, Fox credited Barbaro Garbey, who worked with him in Double-A, with giving him some tips about his swing and shortening it up.
“My focus is to show up and keep doing the same things I’ve been doing,” Fox said.
He knows Cubs fans have high expectations.
“That’s going to happen — it’s a big market team,” Fox said. “They’re always looking for answers, but they’re right here in the clubhouse. Maybe me coming in will give them a spark. They have a very talented team.”
— Carrie Muskat