10/27 Junior Lake steals 2 in AFL play

Junior Lake increased his league-leading stolen base totals to 13 with two steals Thursday but it wasn’t enough as the Mesa Solar Sox lost 8-7 to Scottsdale in Arizona Fall League play. Lake’s 13 steals matches the 2009 and 2010 AFL season highs, set by Chase D’Arnaud and Ben Revere. Bryce Harper hit a three-run walkoff homer to lift Scottsdale to the win. Lake, who started at third and batted third, went 1-for-5, while Josh Vitters, who started in right and batted fourth, was 0-for-5. On Friday, Mesa travels to Peoria. The Cubs’ Andrew Cashner was expected to pitch in relief either Friday or Saturday. He’s been slowed by a sore oblique.

— Carrie Muskat


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Is this the beginning of the end for Josh Vitters being the next Ron Santo? He is now playing in the outfield…oops. Quade has our best offensive minor leaguer LaHair playing the outfield instead of first base just to keep Pena and his miserable ba with RISP happy? Colvin is stuck on the bench just to get a first baseman some outfield playing time or to keep Soriano’s “Pujols-like” presence in the game during a catastrophic season? Mr. Epstein has to be completly dumb founded by such moves and is hopefully sharpening his axe as I type. I hope he gives Ryno the shot at manager and let him evolve from the beginning with some young players. After all, Ryno has the minor leage track record that he was told he needed to obtain and he CAN BE the next Francona or Black if just given the chance to actually BEGIN a career as a major league manager. Oh well, I can’t get too greedy, as long as IT IS NOT QUADE.

Vitters was a late addition to the Mesa roster, replacing Brett Jackson who played for Team USA in the World Cup and Pan Am games. The only opening on the roster was for an outfielder but Vitters played 3B at the beginning of the AFL season because the projected starting 3B was hurt. He’s also played some 1B. Versatility is good, Joey.

Tell Casey McGhee (3rd base/1st base) or Jake Fox (Catcher/1st base) that.
Versatility is awesome unless you have a manager that refuses to play the better versatile player ahead of the non-versatile player. Seems that the Cubs wind up with more “Jacks of all trades master of none” rather than versatile players. If Vitters is being considered for ANY other postion other than third base what’s that tell us about how his ability at third is viewed? BUT…it’s all water under the bridge because the main culprit Jim Hendry is gone and the days of fitting round pegs into square holes are over. LaHair wasn’t put in the outfield last season by Quade because of his versatality, Quade put him out there because he was too good a hitter to leave on the bench but Quade decided he was better off derailing Colvin’s career rather than stop sucking up to Pena. We all know LaHair belongs at first base as the Cubs do not have a need to try to fill outfield positions with thirdbasemen or firstbasemen….THEY HAVE OUTFIELDERS.

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