2/24 Decisions, decisions

Mike Fontenot is willing to playing some shortstop this spring. He did it in the Minor Leagues in 2007 and also has taken grounders there during the regular season just to strengthen his throwing arm.

Lou Piniella wants Fontenot to be more comfortable at short to help determine the makeup of the Cubs’ bench.

“We’ve got a lot of people to look at here,” Piniella said. “Either you’re going to want a little more defense or you’re going to want some offense. If Fontenot can play some shortstop, we’ll look to carry a bat. If he can’t, we’ll be able to carry one less bat on the bench.

“The positions on the field are pretty well taken except we’re not exactly sure what we’re going to do at second base,” Piniella said. “If [Ryan] Theriot were to get hurt, which we don’t want obviously, we’ll just put the kid at shortstop and let him play.”

The kid is 19-year-old Starlin Castro.

If the Cubs felt they had enough depth at middle infield with Theriot, Fontenot and Jeff Baker, they could keep an extra bat like Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Brad Snyder, Bryan LaHair or someone like that. If the Cubs keep an extra defensive outfielder, a defensive infielder and a backup catcher, then they might need some help offensively off the bench.

“That’s what Spring Training is for and we’ll look at it,” Piniella said of the bench makeup. “No determination has been made.”

– Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

There is no reason he can’t handle shortstop. He made a couple of errors in 2007, and never played the position again, except for one inning in 2008. Fontenot seems to make all of his mistakes at the beginning, and then settles down and fields better than average, That happened last year at 3rd base, and 2008 at second base. If they put him at short, he will probably make an error or two, and then settle down and play great defense. Lou should know this by now, and not yank him at the first error.

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