Cubs

Cubs expect LaHair to see action soon

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Cubs expect LaHair to see action soon

Bryan LaHair looked at it this way: Hey, Im here. The Cubs first baseman could have been somewhere like Des Moines, Iowa, or Tacoma, Wash.

Those were two stops along the way for the 29-year-old LaHair, a 39th-round pick who had never before experienced Opening Day in the big leagues. If he was disappointed about sitting out with a nagging back issue, he hid it very well.

Ive been kind of preparing myself mentally over the last few days, LaHair said Thursday, just to be ready whenever Im ready. The most important thing is to not go backwards. Just keep going forward and keep getting better.

LaHair wasnt included in the flurry of moves the Cubs made for Opening Day: selecting the contracts of reliever Shawn Camp, infielder Blake DeWitt and Joe Mather; and optioning outfielder Tony Campana and pitcher Casey Coleman to Triple-A Iowa. The Tampa Bay Rays claimed left-hander John Gaub off waivers. Soon Rodrigo Lopez is expected to join the Cubs bullpen.

LaHair said the disabled list isnt an option, and he expects to be available this weekend against the Washington Nationals (Jeff Baker started in his absence). LaHair sat out the final four games in spring training with what was described as a bulging disc. He doesnt sound too concerned.

Ive been making huge gains each day, he said. Ill bet you 90 percent of the hitters in baseball have that.

Cubs Talk Podcast: 2017 season obituary and previewing an interesting winter for Cubs

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: 2017 season obituary and previewing an interesting winter for Cubs

In the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull, Patrick Mooney and Tony Andracki close the book on the 2017 season following Theo Epstein’s press conference, looking back at what will go down as the craziest calendar year in Cubs history from last November through the team’s loss in the NLCS this October.

Moving forward, where do guys like Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Justin Wilson and Mike Montgomery fit? Will the Cubs re-sign Wade Davis or go after another proven closer? And how worried should fans be about the offense that completely disappeared in the postseason?

Take a listen below:

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs' biggest needs this offseason

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs' biggest needs this offseason

Mark Grote (670 The Score), Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report) and Jordan Bernfield join Leila Rahimi on the panel. The Cubs’ season is over, so what’s next for the North Siders? Do they need to deal a position player on the Major League roster to get themselves back in the World Series?

That plus the panel discusses if Mitch Trubisky will throw the ball more against the Panthers and whether Lonzo Ball is in for a rough rookie season thanks to his dad.