All-Star Bryan LaHair and David DeJesus were both in the lineup Thursday against Braves lefty Mike Minor. It was a rare start for both, especially LaHair, who was 3-for-38 (.079) against left-handed pitchers this season.
"We'll see how he handles it," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of LaHair. "He had some decent at-bats the last start [against a lefty]. No results, but the at-bats were better, the aggressiveness.
"It's just a matter of picking the right lefties to face," Sveum said. "At the same time, I still have to get [Jeff] Baker at-bats. It just might not be as consistent as it was because [Anthony] Rizzo is going to be playing every single day at first base. There won't be a whole lot of playing time at first base for the Bakers and [Joe] Mathers."
Rizzo was promoted from Triple-A Iowa on June 26, which bumped LaHair from first base to right field.
High school pitcher Duane Underwood, the Cubs' second-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, apparently will sign with the team. On Thursday, he tweeted, "Next week I will officially be a Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs Organization #gocubs."
A couple of days ago, Alfonso Soriano asked new hitting coach James Rowson how old he was. Turns out, the two were born in the same year, 1976, but Soriano's birthday is January, and he's 36. Rowson won't turn 36 until September.
"It's the first time I have a coach who's younger than me," Soriano said. "Now I know I'm a veteran in this game."