DeJesus likes patrolling center
CHICAGO – The last time David DeJesus played center field on an everyday basis, George W. Bush lived in White House and the Cubs were a playoff contender.
DeJesus, 32, gladly accepted his return to the middle of the outfield this week after spending most of the past four seasons playing left and right field. He played 497 career games in center field from 2003 to 2008 but has played only 33 games in center field since then.
“I feel comfortable out there,” DeJesus said.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum moved DeJesus to center field as part of a chain reaction of position changes this week. Bryan LaHair moved from first base to right field, which cleared a spot for top prospect Anthony Rizzo to play first base in the big leagues in the near future.
Although DeJesus might not be as fast as he once was, Sveum said, his instincts were sharp.
“The one thing about David is his routes are going to be really good all of the time,” Sveum said. “He understands how to get to balls – how the ball’s coming off a right-hander’s bat [or] a left-hander’s bat. …
“He’s done an awesome job in right field, but he’s played a lot of his career in center field, and those kinds of guys [succeed] with the knowledge they have and the jumps they get.”
Helping hand: The absence of bad news proved to be the closest thing to good news for injured third baseman Ian Stewart this week.
“The doctors checked him out and basically didn’t find anything that our doctors hadn’t found,” Sveum said. “So, nothing major.”
Stewart, who is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list late next week, received a cortisone shot in the top of his left hand to alleviate the pain. Although offseason surgery is a possibility, the Cubs hope that Stewart’s latest treatment provides a quick fix.
Another chance: Right-hander Randy Wells will make his third start of the season today against the White Sox in place of Ryan Dempster, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of tightness in his right latissimus dorsi muscle.
Wells, 29, is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts this season and 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He allowed six runs in 6 1/3 innings in his most recent start against the Sox on July 1, 2011.
Quick hits: Sveum said he expected to start Steve Clevenger behind the plate today to allow Geovany Soto to rest his knees. … Starlin Castro was caught stealing for the eighth time this season, which is tied for most in the majors with Toronto’s Brett Lawrie.
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