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Extra bases

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Dave Sappelt appears to have the inside track for one of the final spots on the Cubs' bench.

"Sappelt is swinging the bat really well," Sveum said Thursday of the 26-year-old outfielder. "The guy can hit. The guy has proven he can hit, he can hit a Major League fastball. More impressively, getting to see him play quite a bit, he's played really good outfield and is capable of playing center field.

"He's done everything we've wanted him to this spring, and worked hard and made himself a better outfielder. We know he can swing a bat. He has the ability to hit a ball out of the ballpark and hit right-handed pitching and the whole thing. He's done a nice job."

Sappelt spent most of last season at Triple-A Iowa, and batted .275 in 26 games with the Cubs last season.

• Left-hander Travis Wood, who will be slotted into the No. 3 spot in the Cubs rotation, threw in Minor League camp on Wednesday, which was an off-day for the big league team.

• Arodys Vizcaino, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, is throwing every other day, but he is not expected to be ready for the regular season until August or September.

"[The ball is] coming out of his hand pretty good," Sveum said. "He's a middle-of-the-season-type guy. He'll be ready in the middle of the season."

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