4/12 Clevenger starts at 3B; Stewart progressing

Steve Clevenger was a middle infielder before he was converted to catcher in the Cubs’ Minor League system, but on Friday, he was back at third base. Clevenger got the start against the Giants’ Matt Cain as the Cubs tried to overload the lineup with left-handed hitters.

“I got my ground balls in,” Clevenger said. “I feel very comfortable over there. I played infield when I was first drafted. It’s nothing new to me, just getting the reps.”

He did play infield this spring than in the past. Last year, Clevenger won a spot on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster as a backup catcher.

“It’s just a reaction position at third,” he said. “It’s basically catch it and throw it.”

He’s also prepared as far as equipment.

“I always keep my infielder’s glove broken in,” he said.

“If he’s going to be here, he has to play,” manager Dale Sveum said of Clevenger, who is the third catcher on the Cubs’ roster. “It’s time to get him in the lineup against Cain and see what happens.”

Third baseman Ian Stewart, on the disabled list with a strained left quad, has been rehabbing at extended Spring Training, and played four innings on Thursday, hitting a couple doubles. Sveum said he expected Stewart would begin a Minor League rehab assignment soon.

– Carrie Muskat

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