Poll Of The Week: Who’s At Third?
Third baseman Ian Stewart is beginning to force the Cubs’ hand at the third base position. Stewart is scheduled to have surgery on his wrist and will miss the next six to ten weeks. The Cubs will face an interesting situation within in the coming weeks. And it involves their third base position and what type of step the Cubs want to take toward their long-term future.
The 2012 season has been a lost cause for Stewart and the Cubs at the third base position. Stewart is hitting .201/.292/.335 to go along with 5 home runs and 17 RBIs. Stewart may be a one and done player for the Cubs. Though, when the Cubs acquired Stewart, he was viewed as a temporary band-aid until the Cubs found a long-term solution at third base.
Luis Valbuena has been starting in place of Stewart at the third base position. Valbuena is hitting .246/.283/.509 to go along with 3 home runs and 13 RBIs in 17 games with the Cubs this season. Valbuena is only 25 years old, but he is projected to be a utility infielder. While Valbuena does have deceptive power, he should not be considered an everyday player. For that reason, it is unlikely that Valbuena is a long-term solution for the Cubs at third base.
The Cubs also have two options in their farm system. Those two options being Junior Lake and Josh Vitters. Lake is hitting .289/.343/.422 to go along with 4 home runs and 13 RBIs with the Tennessee Smokies this season. Lake figures to be a candidate to be promoted to the Iowa Cubs within the near future. Meanwhile, Vitters–who was named to the PCL All-Star team–is currently hitting .298/.350/.510 on the season with the Iowa Cubs to go along with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs.
In my opinion, Lake is the Cubs’ third baseman of the future. But, now is not the time that Lake should be playing his games at the Major League level. Valbuena has been a decent player for the Cubs within the past couple of weeks, but with his limited ceiling, it doesn’t really benefit the Cubs to have him starting at third base. I think Vitters should be the one to get the starts at third base in place of Stewart. Vitters is not an Epstein-type player and that has put his future with the organization in jeopardy. Nonetheless, this stretch of games would be the perfect chance for Vitters to prove his-self with the Major League team.
So what should the Cubs do at the third base position? Vitters? Lake? Valbuena? or wait for Stewart? Vote and then feel free to expand upon your selection in the comment section.