The general assumption is that the Cubs will hand over the third base duties to Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy to start the season. I figured that Mike Olt would have a chance to win the opening day job out of spring training with a solid showing in Arizona but a bout with shoulder fatigue has limited his reps at the hot corner and he might just have to wait an extra month before earning a call up to the show.
Olt is an interesting case. He's battled back from vision problems and now has a longer road ahead of him than expected with the shoulder issue. He's had a decent spring with the stick and still has an outside shot at breaking camp with the big league team but the limited showing at third base hurts him. I've long thought that Olt makes sense as the interim starter who bridges the Cubs from now until some of the 3B prospects start knocking on the door. I still think that's a viable plan but the timetable is likely going to be pushed back some with Olt's shoulder setback.
Currently, the Cubs roster is in a state of flux. The old names we've grown accustomed to over the past few years are gone and they are being replaced right now with bargain bin free agents, players acquired via trade and now prospects who are starting to bubble to the top of the organization. We've all pontificated on what the roster can look like in 3 years time and we all have our own version of a dream infield scenario. For me Olt doesn't figure in long term to those plans as I don't see him sticking with the Cubs should the infield prospects shake out. Christian Villanueva and perhaps even Javier Baez make more sense to me at the hot corner than Olt for various reasons.
Olt is a nice insurance plan and stopgap in the interim, however. I think eventually the third base job becomes his as Valbuena and Murphy aren't exactly seen as franchise changers. There's still a few obstacles ahead of Olt, but the path is becoming clearer as he's passing hurdles each day.
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