3/17 Stewart running out of time
Ian Stewart is running out of time to get ready for the regular season. The Cubs third baseman will undergo another MRI on his left quad because there’s been some lingering soreness, which has kept him from running the bases and out of games. Stewart injured his leg Feb. 21 during an intrasquad game, and did not play again until March 14 in a Minor League game. He has been unable to get into another game since.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Stewart told the athletic trainers that the latest problem isn’t a setback. However, the reality is the Cubs have two weeks remaining before Opening Day, April 1.
“I don’t know if he’s got enough time,” Sveum said Sunday. “It’ll be interesting.”
Stewart was limited to 55 games last season before of a sore wrist, which needed surgery. That hasn’t been a problem this spring. Whether Stewart is ready for April 1 will affect how the Cubs put together their bench. Brent Lillibridge and Luis Valbuena can play third, as well as Edwin Maysonet and Alberto Gonzalez.
“It just comes down to what do you want in that spot,” Sveum said. “[Steve] Clevenger’s obviously a guy who could be interesting, [and we’re watching] all the waiver wires.”
Clevenger made the Cubs’ Opening Day roster last year as the backup catcher but on Saturday played first and third. He could be an emergency third baseman, plus give Sveum more options with double switches.
Others in the mix for the bench spots include non-roster invitees Darnell McDonald, Brian Bogusevic, and Dave Sappelt, all outfielders.
“It all depends when we sit down and really hard core look at it, what is our need, how does the pitching set up with the other team, who’s their closer, set-up guys, left-handed guys,” Sveum said.
— Carrie Muskat