Cubs Roster Profiles: Steve Clevenger
As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Steve Clevenger.
One of the biggest battles in spring training will play out behind the plate. While Geovanny Soto is entrenched as the starting catcher and Welington Castillo is his likely back up, Steve Clevenger cannot be over looked. Of the three, only Clevenger is a left handed hitter. He can also play some first or third base, adding additional flexibility to the bench. If Clevenger can put together a very good spring training, the Cubs may have a hard time leaving him off the 25 man roster when they depart Chicago.
Clevenger spent most of the 2011 season in Tennessee as the primary catcher for the Smokies, but whenever Castillo was away from Iowa, Clevenger got the call. He had a very good season at the plate for Tennessee, but his Iowa numbers are even more impressive. Clevenger is a patient hitter, is tough to strike out, and at the very least has ample doubles power. His most likely destination is in 2012 is Iowa, but don’t count out Chicago.
It would be nice if Clevenger could extend his 2011 Iowa success across a full season in Triple A, but that is probably unlikely. Still, I expect that he will be one of the offensive leaders for Iowa, if not for the whole of the Pacific Coast League. He will return to Wrigley in 2012, but it may only be for a September call up. I strongly suspect that either Soto, Castillo, or Clevenger will be dealt by the July trade deadline. Castillo and Soto are the more likely to be moved, and that should open an opportunity for Clevenger to finish out the season on the major league bench.