2/23 Cubs Tuesday notebook
Expect to see Mike Fontenot at shortstop a little this spring. It’s not that Fontenot is challenging Ryan Theriot for the job with the Cubs but Lou Piniella wants players who are versatile. Heading into camp, Fontenot and Jeff Baker are the candidates for the starting second base job.
“We’re not going to put anybody else in that mix,” Piniella said. “Baker did a real nice job when he came over last year. Does he have the inside track? I’d say it’s just dead even now and let ‘em battle out. Fontenot needs to get back to where he swings the bat like he did the first year. One little advantage in Fontenot’s favor is the fact that he’s left-handed and we’re a lot right-handed lineup-wise. We’ll see. It’ll either be Baker or Fontenot in the lineup.”
Will the Cubs test Theriot at second base? No, Piniella said.
“We will put Fontenot at times at shortstop,” Piniella said. “We’ll see how he handles the shortstop position and not to play regularly but just to backup. Theriot will stay at shortstop.”
* Derrek Lee was happy to be reunited with his former Florida teammate, Kevin Millar.
“He’s probably the funniest guy I know,” Lee said. “I woke up this morning looking forward to seeing him. He’s a fun guy and he’ll make a difference in here.”
* Kosuke Fukudome showed some power in batting practice on Tuesday.
“He’s talked to Rudy [Jaramillo] a little bit about changing his mechanics hitting-wise,” Piniella said. “He’s made a couple adjustments and is stroking the ball well. He’s keeping his upper and lower body in a little more, shortening his stride so he’s not lunging forward. He looks good, he really does.”
Did Fukudome do more weight training this offseason to be hitting balls out of the park?
“It was the wind,” Fukudome said.
– Carrie Muskat