CHICAGO – When the dust finally settles on all the Cubs’ catcher issues, it’s going to be hard to deny Steve Clevenger some significant playing time.
Clevenger made his first start since returning from the disabled list with a side injury and all he did was to collect a pair of run-scoring hits in his first two at-bats.
He couldn’t navigate starter Ryan Dempster out of trouble as the right-hander had one of his worst outings of the season, but he guided the bullpen to 4 2/3 scoreless innings down the stretch.
Clevenger picked up where he left off in April when he was injured and how has a .500 batting average (13-for-26) with four RBIs. The rest of the Cubs’ catchers are a combined 12-for-162 (.167) with 12 RBIs.
Soto’s return will be the interesting one. He will probably be eased into action when he does come back but if Clevenger is still hitting, how much playing time does he get when he is up to speed??
Sveum has said that Clevenger’s ability to handle hard-throwing pitchers makes his swing “slump-proof.” We will see if he is also Soto-proof.