Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Vitters Battles To Be Cubs Third Base Starter


As Cubs position players prepare to report to camp, the talk about position battles will begin. Some are real, some will be talk fueled by blogs and fan sites looking to spark conversation into their teams spring. One battle that will be very real is the one for Cubs third base. There are indeed front runners, a dark horse, and a couple of long shots. Over the next couple weeks we’ll take a look at six players who have some shot, outside or other, at the position. First on the list is Josh Vitters.

A few seasons ago Josh Vitters was the heir to the third base throne. Once Aramis Ramirez was gone, it was believed he would take over the job. A quick cup of coffee with the Cubs in 2012 proved otherwise as Vitters struggled greatly. Since that brief stop he has failed to meet the once lofty expectations placed upon him. Vitters is a .282 lifetime hitter in the minors in seven seasons, but his stop in Chicago produced a slash of only .121/.193/.202. The influx of talent at third also created a move to the outfield for Vitters.

“I got the call this winter that they wanted me to go out there so I’m just trying to get into the best shape I can and take as many fly balls as possible,” he said.

The chances of Vitters making the team out of camp are slim, almost none. But that isn’t stopping him from keeping an upbeat attitude and striving to improve. A rejuvenated Vitters can add depth, or a possible trade chip if he can find the success he had early on. He did put up a slash of .295/.380/.511 in limited time in Iowa last season. Hopefully he can build on that success and stay healthy. When he has been, he’s put up respectable power numbers and has hit for a solid average. The season is about to begin for Vitters, and come what may, this could be his last with the Chicago Cubs.

 

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  • Joe Aiello

    Vitters isn’t really in the mix for third base. If he makes the team it will be as a 5th OF. They have already said that is between Valbuena, Olt, and Murphy

    • Nick

      He’s just an outside possibility, but including him in the mix for conversations sake. In all likelihood he won’t make the team out of camp. But I’ll look at each guy no matter how small the chance.

  • mefromme

    I think Olt probably is the front runner for 3rd, unless Valbuena or Bonifacio tear the cover off the ball in the spring. Vitters should look to a current Cub who was told the same thing in spring training when he said he was going to be the teams starter and not many gave it much thought…..Darwin Barney. It was a surprise when he made the team as the starting 2nd basemen a few years ago, anything is possible but I do agree, its not or never for Vitters with the Cubs; but maybe that would be a good thing for him, new team, new coach, new scenery, maybe that’s just what he needs to find his spark.