Inbox: Will Rizzo be on corners for Cubs?
Beat reporter Carrie Muskat answers questions from fans
With Ian Stewart off to a bad start, could Rizzo be called up to play third base? They could leave Bryan LaHair at first against lefties and use Jeff Baker at third.
-- Stanley B., Gulf Breeze, Fla.
I wouldn't bump Stewart now. He's 8-for-28 in his last nine games. Rizzo joked that he would catch or even pitch just to get to the big leagues, but his best, and only, position is first base. One reason he won't be moved to third is that he throws left-handed. If anyone moves, it would be LaHair to one of the outfield corners.
It was nice to see LaHair and Stewart go back to back with home runs on Monday. I feel it's been a while since the Cubs had two power-hitting lefties. When was the last time two Cubs left-handed hitters went back to back?
-- Henry F., Urbana, Ill.
I don't know if you'd call Mike Fontenot a power-hitting lefty, but the last time the Cubs had two left-handed hitters belt back-to-back homers was April 30, 2009, when Milton Bradley led off the fifth inning against the Marlins with a blast and Fontenot followed with a home run on the next pitch.
On Monday against the Braves, the Cubs almost hit three consecutive home runs in a game. When is the last time they actually did hit back-to-back-to-back homers?
-- Nick E., Champaign, Ill.
Derrek Lee, Sammy Sosa and Michael Barrett did so Sept. 15, 2004, against the Pirates.
Since the Cubs traded Marlon Byrd, it has opened a spot in the outfield. Is it possible that David DeJesus could play center? This would allow LaHair to play right field and Rizzo could be called up to play first. Is this possible to get Rizzo in the lineup?
-- Cole V., Long Island, N.Y.
DeJesus has played more games in center than anywhere else in his career, so, yes, he could move over.
I saw Jamie Moyer pitch in Wrigley Field in 1986, his rookie season. I wondered if that could have been his debut, but then read somewhere that Steve Carlton was the opposing pitcher when Moyer debuted. I'm certain Carlton did not oppose Moyer in the game I witnessed. Do you know if Moyer's maiden game was on the road in Philadelphia?
-- Joseph H., Lake Ariel, Pa.
Moyer made his Major League debut on June 6, 1986, at Wrigley Field against the Phillies and Carlton. Moyer gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings, striking out two. I don't have data on the speed of his pitches then. Carlton took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits over 3 2/3 innings. The Cubs won, 7-5, and Moyer got his first "W."
Do we know who will be giving the Hall of Fame induction speech for Ron Santo?
-- Bob B., Frankfort, Ill.
Santo's wife, Vicki, will do the honors on July 22 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Everyone is wondering when Rizzo and Jackson will get called up to the big leagues. One guy I'm excited about but haven't heard much about is Trey McNutt. Any word on how close he is to getting the call?
-- Devin P., Zion, Ill.
McNutt has been bothered by blisters and just came off the disabled list. Injuries set him back last season as well. This year, in six starts with Double-A Tennessee, he's 0-3 with a 2.66 ERA, giving up six earned runs on 16 hits and 10 walks over 20 1/3 innings.
Where is Junior Lake? I couldn't find him on any of the Minor League rosters.
-- Steve S., Florissant, Mo.
Lake is now with Tennessee. The infielder had some back problems, and didn't open the season with the Smokies, but spent time in the Cubs' extended spring camp in Mesa, Ariz. Through Wednesday, he was 3-for-12 in three games.
How many bunts have been attempted this season by the 2012 Cubs Spring Training bunt tournament champion, DeJesus? I don't think it's been that many. Why hasn't he laid down more?
-- Mike C., Peoria, Ill.