The Cubs didn't waste any time putting Luis Valbuena to work. Called up from Triple-A Iowa to take Ian Stewart's spot on the roster, Valbuena started at third base on Thursday in the series finale against the Tigers.
He was batting .303 in 58 games at Iowa, and had played mostly second base.
"We got him for a reason," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Valbuena, who was claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays. "He plays well, hits well, and he drives the ball for a little guy."
In fact, Valbuena has a grand slam off the Tigers' Justin Verlander, who was starting Thursday.
The Cubs play host to the Red Sox for three games, starting Friday. David Ortiz will not be able to be the designated hitter at Wrigley Field, and Sveum said the Red Sox slugger is a pretty good infielder.
"He's not going to set the world on fire with range, but he has really good hands," said Sveum, who was a coach for two seasons in Boston. "When I was there, he played first base, and I think he played first base here when we played the Cubs in Interleague Play then. He does a nice job at first. He won't get to a lot of balls. He'll catch and he picks the ball well. He does a good job, actually."
Sveum was asked whether he followed the Red Sox after interviewing for their managerial opening this offseason.
Not really, he said.
"If anything, I keep track of people I've been coaching, whether it was with the Brewers -- like with [current Tiger] Prince [Fielder] across the way," Sveum said. "I don't worry about another organization."
Double-A Tennessee first baseman Justin Bour was named to the starting lineup of the Southern League North Division All-Star team. The game will be played June 19.