Coghlan doesn't back away from hot corner

Coghlan doesn't back away from hot corner

CHICAGO -- Chris Coghlan admits he was a little surprised when Cubs manager Joe Maddon approached him in batting practice Monday to ask if he could play third base. Coghlan played the position in college, but he had not been there in a Major League game since 2013, when he played eight games there with the Marlins.

"I guess maybe a little bit [surprised], just because we have so many infielders," Coghlan said Tuesday.

However, the Cubs were shorthanded, and on Tuesday, infielder Tommy La Stella was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 9 with a right rib-cage strain. Mike Olt has been dealing with a bruised right wrist since Saturday.

"I guess I was the last guy able to do it," said Coghlan, who subbed at third in the eighth inning Monday. "I was like, 'Yeah, man, I don't have a problem doing it.'"

Coghlan was prepared. He has his own infielder's glove.

"If you have good instincts, you can do a good job over there," he said.

• Maddon does not believe Jon Lester's ability to throw to first base will become an issue.

"Only if you permit it," Maddon said. "There are things we can control, there's things we can do, and that's what I want us to focus on."

Soler saves Lester's pickoff

Lester did throw to first Monday for the first time since April 2013, and was successful on his first throw, then overthrew first baseman Anthony Rizzo for an error on the next attempt. Maddon says he has some ideas on how to make it work.

"Would throwing to first base help control the running game? Of course," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Tuesday. "[Lester will] face things head on and find a way to control the running game."

• Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler, who hit two homers and drove in four runs Monday, had 26 RBIs in his first 30 career games. According to STATS Inc., it's the most RBIs for any Cubs player in his first 30 career games since Bob Speake collected 26 in his first 30 games in 1955.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.