PHILADELPHIA -- If Tony Campana is hitting baseballs into the air, like he did in his first at-bat Sunday, when he flew out to left field, nothing good will come of it.
Line drives and ground balls are his saving grace and the Chicago Cubs centerfielder showed it when he singled to left field in his second at-bat Sunday against Philadelphia Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick.
With Campana on first base let the fun begin.
The Cubs’ speedster had Kendrick all worked up to the point where the right-hander fired an errant pickoff throw to first base allowing Campana to advance to second base. He then moved to third on a Darwin Barney ground out.
“As long as he hits, he can be an everyday player in the big leagues,” manager Dale Sveum said before Sunday's game. “As long as he can get on base, he can be an impact-type guy with that kind of speed. He just has to be able to hit and get his bunts down and do the things he’s doing right now on an everyday basis.”
Two weeks ago, when Campana was back at Triple-A Iowa, the Cubs weren’t able to manufacture a run like that. Now his speed is a key component to a sluggish offense perhaps gaining some traction as the season nears its second month.
“He’s going to get an opportunity here for a little while,” Sveum said. “He will be playing out there 80 percent of the time.”