Sveum commits to LaHair at first base

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
4:16
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeBryan LaHair
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesBryan LaHair, 29, will finally get a chance to stick in the major leagues as the starting Cubs' first baseman.
MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum moved quickly Thursday to diffuse the notion that there is a battle for the starting first base job.

Bryan LaHair is his guy and that’s all there is to it. That means power prospect Anthony Rizzo will have to be content with opening some eyes in March before heading to Triple-A to start the season.

“It’s [LaHair’s] job; it’s not his job to lose,” Sveum said. “The guy has earned the right to have it, and he’s earned the right for me to have a lot of patience too if things aren’t getting off to a good start.”

Sveum also said that LaHair won’t be asked to play any outfield, at least not during the spring.

“He’s our first baseman, and he’s going to play first base,” Sveum said. “I’m not going to put anything in his head that way. He’s our first baseman, and that’s the bottom line. If anything was to happen somewhere along the line we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

The 29-year-old LaHair, who saw 20 games of action with the Cubs last year, hit 38 home runs with 109 RBIs at Triple-A Iowa last season.

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Anthony Rizzo
BA HR RBI R
.286 25 59 72
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 59
RA. Rizzo 72
OPSA. Rizzo .910
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOT. Wood 108