3/1 Clevenger ready for 1B
Catcher Steve Clevenger will start at first base on Saturday when the Cubs face the Giants in Scottsdale. It’s part of manager Dale Sveum’s efforts to figure out a way to get the left-hander on the 25-man roster. They don’t have a backup first baseman for Anthony Rizzo, who will join Team Italy on Monday for the World Baseball Classic.
The switch isn’t a big deal for Clevenger.
“I played infield when I first signed with the Cubs and I feel comfortable doing it, so it’s not a big change for me,” Clevenger said.
“I see [Sveum is] trying to do something to help me try to make the team,” Clevenger said. “I don’t feel out of whack playing infield at all. I just want to go out there and take my ground balls and get my work in.”
Outfield isn’t an option. He’s hasn’t played there since high school.
“How hard is it to catch a fly ball?” Clevenger said, laughing.
He’ll probably get some ribbing from the outfielders on Saturday.
“We kind of experimented a little bit in practice last year at Wrigley with [coach Dave McKay],” Clevenger said about playing the outfield. “We worked on throwing and everything. It’s a little tough at Wrigley at first with the wind and sun. My first day was in right field. I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this at Wrigley.’”
He isn’t worried about finding an infielder’s glove. He’ll tap into second baseman Darwin Barney’s large supply.
– Carrie Muskat