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Blake DeWitt getting acclimated with Cubs
MESA, ARIZ. (AP) - Blake DeWitt reserves his mornings before workouts for crossword puzzles. It’s been that way for a couple of years.
“Doing them just to do them,” the Chicago Cubs infielder said. “Kind of getting into the routine of doing one every day.”
No surprise there. DeWitt is trying to get acclimated in his first spring training with the Cubs. Chicago acquired DeWitt from the Los Angeles Dodgers for second baseman Ryan Theriot and pitcher Ted Lilly. DeWitt was caught by surprise when informed he’d been dealt, but said he “had a lot of fun with it.”
“It’s just different. Hard to explain,” DeWitt said. “I’d been with one team forever, not that it was that long, but that’s the only team I knew.”
He was the opening-day starter at third base even though he never played above Double-A. DeWitt shuttled back and forth between the Dodgers and Triple-A Las Vegas, then Albuquerque, in 2008 and ‘09, before becoming the Dodgers‘ starting second baseman in 2010.
“I like second better because you’re just more involved,” DeWitt said. “There’s still a lot of work to do.”
“I’d love to see him working the middle of the field,” manager Mike Quade said of DeWitt. “He looked to me when we first got him a little pull-happy in his approach, which more times than not, may allow him to drive the ball out of the ballpark. but his average will suffer. I’d like to see him use the whole field.”
Notes: Quade named his scheduled starting lineup for the Cubs‘ spring training opener against Oakland on Sunday in Mesa. It’s RF Kosuke Fukudome leading off, followed by SS Starlin Castro, CF Marlon Byrd, 3B Aramis Ramirez, 1B Carlos Pena, LF Alfonso Soriano, C Geovany Soto, DeWitt and P Carlos Zambrano. Quade expressed a preference for Fukudome as leadoff hitter based on how he finished last season, even though Fukudome batted .193 in the top spot in 2010. … Position players will have a two at-bat minimum, five-inning maximum as far as playing time in spring training games, at least early, Quade said. … Immediately following Friday’s workout at Fitch Park, the Cubs packed their equipment and gear and moved less than a mile away to HoHoKam Park, where they play home spring training games and will work out Saturday.
By Tom Fitton
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