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Cubs have in-house candidates for second

CHICAGO -- The Cubs have been mentioned as a possible match for the Phillies' Chase Utley, but both manager Joe Maddon and general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday the team has in-house candidates to help at second base, including Javier Baez and Tommy La Stella.

"I think we have some really nice pieces who aren't even here yet," Maddon said. "Regarding Chase Utley, I know that's been talked about a lot, but I'm anticipating playing with the guys here and I really like what we're doing. Don't just look at outside, look at inside."

Baez was batting .291 at Triple-A Iowa with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs. La Stella, who has missed time because of a strained right oblique, was batting .222 at Iowa.

"Giving [La Stella] at-bats every day makes sense," Hoyer said. "We could bring him up here and he could be a bench player for us now, but given the fact he hasn't had a [full] season, we thought the most prudent thing was to give him at-bats and at some point he'll help us. That day is not today."

In order to get another left-handed bat in the lineup, the Cubs moved Chris Coghlan from left field to second. He made his seventh start there on Tuesday.

Rafael Soriano threw a simulated game on Tuesday and will continue his rehab this week with the Cubs before going on a Minor League assignment next week when the team goes on the West Coast.

"Our hope when we purchased his contract was that he can help us," Hoyer said. "Joe really believes in him. He's seen him dominate in the past. You can never have too many arms in September."

Jon Lester also did some work on his throws to first base before Tuesday's game.

"It's something we've been doing since Spring Training," Maddon said. "He does it all the time and it's something we have to continue to do. Eventually, it'll be more comfortable for him."

• In order to keep Jake Arrieta on schedule, the Cubs tweaked the rotation, and Kyle Hendricks will get an extra day. Arrieta now will start Thursday against the Braves and be followed by Hendricks on Friday, Dan Haren on Saturday and Jason Hammel on Sunday.

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