Cubs close to backup catcher decision

March, 27, 2012
3/27/12
3:52
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Steve Clevenger was trying to have as normal of a morning as possible Tuesday, although it wasn’t easy.

[+] EnlargeSteve Clevenger
Matt Kartozian/US PresswireSteve Clevenger is hitting .314 this spring as he tries to win the backup catcher job.
He sat quietly at his locker eating a waffle with a piece of sausage. But all around him it was clear his situation was far from normal.

First there was the obvious. Sitting quietly right next to him was Welington Castillo, the guy he is trying to beat out for the backup catcher job.

The scene was literal, but could have also been figurative. Clevenger and Castillo have been side-by-side all spring in the backup catcher battle, the loser of which is headed to Triple-A Iowa.

Usually in spring training, the players are the last to know about where they stand in position battles. Often they ask the media if anybody has heard anything.

Clevenger admitted Tuesday that he is well entrenched in a cone of silence. He has batted .314 this spring with a pair of home runs and five RBIs, but he has no idea if it’s enough to win a major league job.

Castillo entered play Tuesday batting .303 with a home run and three RBIs, but he seemed to be getting most of the playing time of late.

If there were odds on such things, the consensus seems to be 51-49 that Castillo ends up with the job. Clevenger might be willing to sit down and wait to find out what happens, but he doesn’t have the time. He still has work to do.

The best course of action is to put your mind on other things. Easier said than done. Clevenger can’t help himself sometimes.

“You try to not think about it but sometimes you can’t help it,” he said.

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

WINS LEADER
Jason Hammel
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.98 104 108
OTHER LEADERS
BAS. Castro .284
HRA. Rizzo 29
RBIA. Rizzo 69
RA. Rizzo 80
OPSA. Rizzo .892
ERAT. Wood 4.86
SOE. Jackson 123