• Bryan LaHair has gone from All-Star to an extra player on the Cubs bench.
LaHair, who was the starting first baseman until Anthony Rizzo arrived, totaled 231 at-bats in 74 games before the All-Star break and was voted to the National League All-Star team by his peers. But in the second half, he's played in 41 games and has only 90 at-bats. He batted .286 with 14 home runs before the break, and was hitting .189 with one home run since, entering Monday's game.
"For his sake, I think he needs to play winter ball again and get the at-bats he's missed out on and be ready for Spring Training like he was this year," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of LaHair.
However, both Rizzo and right fielder David DeJesus are expected back in 2013. It'll be tough for LaHair to get at-bats.
"That goes unsaid," Sveum said.
• One player who has opened some eyes is Dave Sappelt, acquired from the Reds in the Sean Marshall deal. Sappelt could fill the role of right-handed bat off the bench, which Reed Johnson had this year until he was dealt to the Braves.
"There's a bat there that can play in the big leagues," Sveum said of Sappelt, who batted .266 in 133 games with Triple-A Iowa this year. "He's got the ability and the bat speed, and the bat ability to play in the big leagues."
Sappelt was batting .310 in 11 games since he was promoted Sept. 1, entering Monday's game.