9/16 Vitters still has work to do

Rookie Josh Vitters has been starting at third base against left-handed pitchers but Cubs manager Dale Sveum instead inserted Luis Valbuena in the lineup Sunday against the Pirates’ Jeff Locke.
Vitters still has work to do on his defense, and Sveum wanted a good glove behind starter Chris Volstad.

“It’s the routine plays that seem to be giving [Vitters] him the most problem,” Sveum said. “The spontaneous plays, he’s made all those and in great fashion. He’s gotten up and made good throws on the dives and body control plays. He’s gotten a lot better since the first day I saw him.”

One bad habit Vitters has developed is watching the baserunner when he fields a ground ball, which Sveum said will get a fielder “out of whack right away.”

“On routine plays, he wants to look at the runner and pick up the first baseman and it kind of throws the rhythm off,” Sveum said.

Are the problems mental or mechanical for the young third baseman?

“You never really know,” Sveum said.

— Carrie Muskat

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