Cubs make changes in lineup: LaHair in RF, DeJesus in CF, and Soto back in the lineup

So if you're wondering how the Cubs plan to get Anthony Rizzo into the lineup soon, we may have caught our first glimpse today.

The Cubs have moved Bryan LaHair to RF for today's game while moving normal RF David DeJesus into CF. Neither has tremendous range at those positions, so the Cubs are partly compensating here by instilling Tony Campana in LF with Alfonso Soriano as the DH. DeJesus has a lifetime UZR of -1.3 in CF, which is slightly below average. In a very limited sample size (62.2 innings), he has a -76.2 rating last year. His last extended time in CF was in 2008, when he had a -22.8 rating, though he was average to above average in the years preceding. Also, Geovany Soto has been activated and is the starting catcher today.

Also, Scott Maine, who has been pitching well in Iowa, as we noted in the Daily Cubs Minors League Recap yesterday.

Here is today's lineup.

DeJesus CF
Castro SS
LaHair RF
Soriano DH
Clevenger 1B
Barney 2B
Valbuena 3B
Soto C
Campana LF

The lineup also will get some OBP at the top with DeJesus while utilizing Tony Campana in that 9th spot where he can still utilize his speed.

In other news, Welington Castillo was sent to Iowa to make room for Soto while Ryan Dempster has been put on the DL with lat tightness, or as David Kaplan put it, "Lat tightness is another term for don't you dare get hurt while we finalize a trade and your stock is sky high."

To add to that conspiracy theory, I will note that one of the Dodgers top pitching prospects, LHP Chris Reed, has also been placed on the DL.

I'm off to a New ERA Cubs-White Sox game party with a friend...who happens to be one of my oldest friends and a big White Sox fan.

Should be fun. Until then, here's a video of the latest in a series of Cubs-White Sox rivalry commercials, which may or may not resemble the conversations I have with my friend today...

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  • I hope Kaplan is onto something about Dempster's "injury". It's about time the Cubs tried LaHair in the OF this year. Although he's been slumping lately I'd love to see LaHair and Rizzo in the same line-up. Once Soriano is traded and Jackson is promoted the new line-up should be pretty interesting to watch.

  • In reply to Zorb:

    Excited to see this game and how this lineup works out.

  • Guess I can understand protecting Demp and not letting his value drop, but now they can't move him for 15 days (unless it's retroactive to Fri). Seems like if teams were really interested they'd rather have him for two starts than waiting. Hopefully it truly is a precaution and doesn't impact his value.

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    My guess is it's retroactive and he wouldn't go on DL if Cubs were contending. I'm sure it's part injury, part protecting him.

  • I love me a good conspiracy. Can we get a recent photo of Jenny Dempster? I have some spies at the airport. I think we need to start checking the passenger lists of all flights to LA. She has two weeks to find a place to live out there.

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    Haha! I threw that out there and it's been kind of fun. People, including myself, looking for any kind of clue or info :)

  • I have to believe Dempster's injury was made up. No mention of any injury after his last start or over the weekend.

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    I would tend to agree with you RRK.

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    The Dodger boards are going nuts with the same conspiracy theory.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I think I may have started something there.

  • If any team can have a conspiracy theory its the Cubs. Let hope
    it works out for the best.

  • John: I do not believe the Jays will open the vault for either Garza or Dempster. I do wonder however if Drabek could be a possibility for Demp. Sources reported this off season that the Jays were willing to include Drabek as part of a package for Garza. With Dempster pitching lights out; and Toronto reluctant to part with prospects such as Syngaard, d'Arnaud, Marisnick, Gose, Norris, Nicolino and Sanchez-could this proposal have merit(not sure how Drabek's injury would play into this)? Thanks.

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Sure but Drabek may not be fully healthy until 2014. And he never had great command, and many times, it's tough to pick it back up after TJ surgery.

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    This situation does have advantages. Wells will take Dempster's spot. A couple of good starts out of him, and teams might start calling about him. As for Chris Reed, this isn't the first time he has been on the DL this season. He started the season on the DL with shoulder soreness. I've not seen what they put him on the DL for this time. However, it's worth noting that he pitched very well for Ranco Coucamonga of the Hi-A California League, a notorious hitters league. In 6 starts, he pitched 35 innings with a 3.09 ERA, and 38 SO to 14 BB with 25 H.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    He's a great arm, but lots of question marks.

  • Dempster's fake injury is a nice display of creativity.
    Doesn't compare to "Buttock Tightness" but creative nonetheless.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    Haha! I think buttock tightness is a little know affliction that affects millions.

  • Dempster on DL scared me today when I first saw it. Hope this is all it is.

    Look forward to seeing the new lineup but I don't understand why they don't put LaHair in left and keep Campana and DeJesus the same.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Word on Dempster is it's minor.

  • with this whole dempster thing i honestly dont knwo what to think, but heres somethings i do know.

    dempster is not hurt. lat tightness? the man is 36 years old, this feeling that there declaring lat tightness is probably something he feels everyday. hes an athlete ppl, the guy isnt injured.

    also there was the conversation in the stands with theo the other day. u dont think that this might have possibly been planned. they might have discussed

    "hey ryan were thinking about trading u to l.a. so your next start is probably gonna be your last" "okay" "except were trying to figure out some things with them and it might not be all figured out until after wednesday so were gonna skip your next start and put you on the dl so you dont get hurt, u good with that" "yup"

    so then demp called up his close friends and they came to his last start as a cub and chilled on the field afterwards.

    im not saying thats what happened, but i really think that its probably the most likely scenario. most times we know there might be something semi wrong a guy before he goes on the dl, but with dempster everyones freakin out cuz weve heard nothing of the sort. this is either a plan to get more bidders involved or hes in the process of being traded, thats it.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I have had lat tightness every morning since I turned 35.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Funny how that works isn't it. One day, you can do whatever you like, and you never get sore. The next day everything makes you hurt. I think they call it getting old, and you aren't the only one.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Haha...I can't believe the things I used to do, get up and be fine the next morning.

  • I can't do it. As much as I love the Cubs, I just can't watch them on a White Sox broadcast. Harrelson has got to be the worst announcer in all of sports.

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    In reply to supercapo:

    Agreed. My ears bleed watching white Sox games. Thank God for the mute button....

  • In reply to supercapo:

    It's horrible, but Hawk has been humbled for today.

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    Hi John. Thanks for other youtube video. That made me smile.

    Have the Cubs quietly found themselves a 3B for the rest of the year? Valbuena seems to be putting it all together. We really could see a good hitting team the second half of this year. I do have a question everyone. Why weaken 2 OF positions (CF, RF) when we could have LaHair play LF and keep DeJesus and Campana in the spots they've been playing. Did this cross anyone else's mind?

    All the speculation on trades makes this a great time for baseball even when we're losing twice as much as we're winning. Ok Jebstein, work your magic. Go Cubs!

  • In reply to Hal McCarty:

    Valbuena is sort of playing the way I imagine they hoped Ian Stewart would. He gives them power and patience at the plate, while providing good defense. He's a better hitter than Stewart, however.

    The OF situation did cross my mind. Not sure why. It may be because they're preparing DeJesus to play CF in case they can't trade LaHair or Soriano. They may need to end up playing both.

  • In reply to Hal McCarty:

    I was pondering during the game if Soriano wasn't playing the field why wasn't LaHair in left, Campana in center and DeJesus in right?

    And what eventually dawned on me is in the event Soriano can't be traded, right field is the only position LaHair can play that Soriano can't... So it's possible they already know either Soriano's contract is impossible to move or Ricketts has met his limit on eating contracts for this year, or both... So DeJesus will split time in CF with Campana and the rest of the time Tony & Reed Johnson will rotate around the outfield perhaps?

    Looks like Little Tony is back to late inning defensive replacement duty and pinch running.

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