9/17 Extra bases

* The Cubs have a lot of decisions regarding next season’s roster but Welington Castillo has given the team a lot to think about regarding their catching situation.

“He’s definitely made probably the biggest progress of anybody on the team right now,” Dale Sveum said Monday of Castillo, who has started 34 games behind the plate. “The changes he’s made in his defense and calling the game and the preparation [are impressive] His whole attitude has changed into an everyday catcher’s mindset.

“I think he’s starting to have a lot more fun and understanding the progression he’s had to go through,” Sveum said. “I think going into Spring Training, he’ll feel like he’s the every day catcher, no matter what we do. He’ll have that mentality that he’ll catch 120 games next year.”

* Bryan LaHair has gone from All-Star to an extra player on the Cubs bench. LaHair, who was the starting first baseman until Anthony Rizzo arrived, totaled 231 at-bats in 74 games before the All-Star break and was voted to the National League All-Star team by his peers. But in the second half, he’s played in 41 games and has 90 at-bats. He batted .286 with 14 home runs before the break, and was hitting .189 with one home run since.

“For his sake, I think he needs to play winter ball again and get the at-bats he’s missed out on and be ready for Spring Training like he was this year,” Sveum said of LaHair.

However, both Rizzo and right fielder David DeJesus are expected back in 2013. It’ll be tough for LaHair to get at-bats.

“That goes unsaid,” Sveum said.

* One player who has opened some eyes is Dave Sappelt, acquired from the Reds in the Sean Marshall deal. Sappelt could fill the role of right-handed bat off the bench, which Reed Johnson had this year until he was dealt to the Braves.

“There’s a bat there that can play in the big leagues,” Sveum said of Sappelt, who batted .266 in 133 games with Triple-A Iowa this year. “He’s got the ability and the bat speed and the bat ability to play in the big leagues.”

Sappelt was batting .310 in 11 games since he was promoted Sept. 1.

* Pitching matchups vs. the Reds:

Tuesday: RHP Justin Germano (2-7, 6.24) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (11-9, 3.93)

Wednesday: LHP Chris Rusin (1-2, 5.06) vs. RHP Mike Leake (8-9, 4.69)

Thursday: RHP Jason Berken (0-1, 7.20) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (17-9, 2.92)

– Carrie Muskat

12 Comments

Well if DeJesus is EXPECTED back, let’s hope for the UNEXPECTED.

I would much rather see Soriano/Jackson/Sappelt out there next year. I don’t mind having DeJesus around but make him the bat off the bench. And with Fonzie using a lighter bat he might actually give some production the entire year. Here’s looking to the future.

I can live with that Chico. But I get the feeling Sappelt may not be the answer either as I don’t see him as much better than DeJesus. BUT…we KNOW what DeJesus brings to the game (not enough) so you may be right in giving Sappelt an opportunity. Spring training certainly will be interesting…YET AGAIN.

I was thinking Chico…I could also live with an outfield of Melky Cabrera (not to be confused with Melky Cabera), Brett Jackson and BJ Upton, because when you think about it our outfield doesn’t HAVE to consist of players that are on the team now, right? I mean Soriano is NOW on the team but with some luck he may not be next season. This way we would have speed, defense, and run production spread out in the line up instead of just run production from LF. WHAT A THOUGHT!!

haha echo echo echo…. no seriously I would really like that OF…

how bout we go out and sign someone better??? We have tons of room to sign a OF or maybe even 2…. Melky Cabera would be a great piece at a good price since his ban… BJ Upton could be a possibility if the bidding doesn’t get out of control… I mean why does it HAVE to be who we have on the team now? We are the Cubs not the Padres…. 100mill payroll is nothing for us…

read in newsmax. where Cubs owner Joe Ricketts is spending 10 million dollars to help Mitt Romeny,s campaign. to me that is stupid. 10 million dollars could go a long ways in signing someone like Zack Greinke

10 million dollars could go a long way to help starving children.

totally agree. i do alot of charity work and i help homeless children. was just looking at it from the sports side of it.

10 million to the Ricketts isn’t like 10 million to us……….. his money he can do what he wants with it right?

yes it is his money, but i would rather help my ball club instead of a politican

well i guess when you have 10 mill you could help your ball club… you do know that its not like Ricketts writes these guys personal checks… the cubs organization is profitable enough to cash their payroll every year….

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