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Cubs' Russell putting in extra work at second

CHICAGO -- Cubs rookie Addison Russell is learning to make the physical transition from shortstop to second base. He's still working on changing how he mentally approaches the position.

Russell, 21, did early work Wednesday with infield coach Gary Jones for the second straight day. The two likely will continue their early sessions most of the season.

"I told Jonesy in Spring training that I like to stick to early work," Russell said. "You can make sure you get some of the small things done around second base, and get more understanding of second base.

"I like where we're at right now, I like the progression we have going right now," he said. "The communication between me and Jonesy is really, really good. We're just going to try to keep doing that in the future."

Russell, the Cubs' No. 2 prospect and the game's No. 3 shortstop prospect (both according to, has only started at second since his promotion, and had to learn the position at the big league level, which is tough. Russell also never played at second with shortstop Starlin Castro until the big leagues.

But is he still thinking like a shortstop?

"Oh, yeah," Russell said. "Whenever Starlin has to cover the bag, I think I have to cover the bag sometimes. And that's vice versa with both of us. We figure it out. We'll get the job done."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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