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Cubs notes: Sveum realistic about Samardzija

Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com)
The Cubs' Junior Lake watches his ball during the fifth inning in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

As today’s 3 p.m. trade deadline approached, speculation rose as to whether the Cubs will continue to deal star players like ace Jeff Samardzija. Before the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Brewers, Cubs manager Dale Sveum voiced his opinion.

“It’s not that realistic,” he said. “I think it’s very, very far-fetched to think you’ve got a guy under control for that long, and possibly a number one guy, to do anything with.”

Samardzija leads Cubs starters in strikeouts (146) and is second in wins (6). He is under contract until 2016.

Baker progresses: Cubs righty Scott Baker began his rehab stint in a Class A Kane County start two weeks ago. On Monday, he threw 65 pitches in three innings, a cautionary sign after allowing 13 runs in his first three games.

“[He’s throwing] a little better,” Sveum said. “He’s still not getting the quick outs.”

After not starting a major league game in two years, the 31-year-old is signed to earn $5.5 million this year. Although his return is projected to be a month away, Sveum has no worries about his rotation.

“We’re not too concerned because we don’t have a need right now,” he said. “It’s just kind of a slow development for him right now. We’re okay with things progressing at this rate.”

Lake promising in potential role: David DeJesus, who played center field with the Kansas City Royals in the mid-2000s, shifted to first base in the past few years. This season, with Anthony Rizzo growing at first base, he moved back to his old position. Junior Lake, the Cubs’ up-and-coming left fielder, is a potential replacement.

“He’s the kind of guy that you want covering a lot of space,” he said. “Outfield takes a lot of reps to get going out there.”

Lake has done well in the outfield to this point, committing two errors in 98 innings. A potential shift to center field might be beneficial to the Cubs, according to Sveum.

“It looks like you can get more experience, whether it’s winter ball or spring training,” he said. “He’s only going to get better out there.”

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