Just as I finished writing that we would have to be patient and wait for the kids to come, here they come it seems.
It may have just been a couple of the system’s stars being promoted, but it felt big. Kris Bryant and Dan Vogelbach’s ascension weren’t the only moves that sent ripple effects through the organization Monday night.
In a surprising move, Junior Lake started in centerfield with David DeJesus moving over to left. What does this mean? It sounds as if the Cubs are ready to start making plans for the near and not too distant future.
Does this move signal the Cubs are ready to move DeJesus with a waiver type deal or during the offseason? Or is it simply to see where Lake can best fit in the present? Apparently Lake (former infielder) thinks he can make the transition to center easier than a corner spot. Jesse Rodgers of ESPN Chicago.com reports Dale Sveum concurs with that premise.
However, Sveum isn’t sure if Lake should get too comfortable there in any case.
“We don’t want to waste time developing something (when) in two years Almora might be here playing center field,” Sveum said. “That’s up to the organization. We have to get together and talk. There’s no reason to talk about it now. But I want to see (Lake) enough in center field before the season’s over.”
It is kind of something to see Sveum peeking ahead and putting the 19-year-old prospect in the mix already. However, Almora is viewed as ultra mature and a special outfielder by the organization.
This Lake thing sort of reminds you of when the Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano, a recently converted infielder to outfielder. The Cubs thought Soriano would be able to handle center with his athleticism, but that experiment ended quickly. Who knows if Lake will be able to thrive in center, but Soriano gave Lake some advice about making the transition before he left.
Cubs coach Dave McKay shared those thoughts with Patrick Mooney recently.
McKay feels the Cubs are so far ahead of the curve with Lake, who only 23 years old, or seven years younger than Soriano when he made the switch. This is a Soriano 2.0 project.
“He (Soriano) took (Lake) under his wing and pretty much told him: ‘You’re an infielder, like I was. You’re now an outfielder. You’ve got a good arm. You got the speed. You got everything it takes to be a very good outfielder. But you have to focus on your instruction each day and don’t ignore that.’”
“I said to Junior: Keep working hard because they gave you an opportunity now. Just keep working and do your thing.” Said Soriano.
That opportunity may have gotten a little bigger.
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