7/23 Extra, extra bases

* With Mike Olt optioned to Triple-A Iowa, Luis Valbuena will get the majority of playing time at third base, manager Rick Renteria said. Valbuena made his 51st start at third on Wednesday; Olt had started 47 games at third.

* Olt will play first base and be the designated hitter while at Iowa. He was batting .139 in 72 games, but did lead all NL rookies with 12 home runs. He also has struck out 84 times in 187 at-bats.

“He acknowledged he’s gotten into a few bad habits at the plate, and bad habits that he couldn’t break out of at the big league level,” Theo Epstein said Wednesday. “I think playing every day down there will be good for him.”

* Cubs pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa, on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa, struck out two of the three batters he faced Wednesday. Fujikawa, who had Tommy John surgery in June 2013, threw 14 pitches, nine for strikes, in his second outing with the team.

* Manny Ramirez, a player/coach at Triple-A Iowa, was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a right calf strain. Ramirez pinch-hit on Wednesday and was batting .176 (6-for-34) in 11 games with the Minor League team.

— Carrie Muskat


hmmm you mean its harder for guys to make adjustments at the big league level? Especially when they are young? HMMMMM weird!! Maybe we should remember this the next time we want to see the next big prospect NOW …. patience is key with these guys.

Anyone has anymore patience with Vitters or B Jax, please speak up

I don’t think anyone is looking for Vitters or Jackson to be Major League starters anymore. And Theo admitted that he made a mistake when he called them up in 2012 and said neither one was ready for the Majors. That’s a perfect example of what can happen if you rush someone up before they’re ready. And when I advocated calling them up in September, I did so because every team looks to increase their depth with their September callups. I didn’t mean call them up so they can try to be key pieces to the 2015 team. Both of them are probably done with the Cubs after this year anyway, but maybe they show enough in September to warrant an invite to Spring Training or an off-season change of scenery trade. After all, Tony Campana had nothing but speed going for him, and that plus skill alone got the Cubs two young pitching prospects. If Jackson shows he can play plus defense, or Vitters shows he can hit lefties, maybe some other team sees value in that and would be willing to trade a 19-year old pitcher or two for either of them?

OK….sounds reasonable to me.

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