Junior Lake earns another shot with Cubs


Junior Lake earns another shot with Cubs

Junior Lake is back in The Show.

The Cubs added another option to their bench before Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, promoting Lake from Triple-A Iowa, where he was hitting .289 with a .673 OPS in 13 games.

Lake can play all three outfield positions and originally started his career as an infielder, so he offers manager Joe Maddon some more versatility.

Lake debuted with the Cubs in 2013, hitting .284 with six homers, 16 doubles, four steals and a .760 OPS across 64 games. But he regressed last season, hitting just .211 with 110 strikeouts in 308 at-bats.

[RELATED - Addison Russell knows he won't figure it all out overnight]

Lake is still only 25 and brings a nice blend of power and speed.

“I’m excited to have him here,” Maddon said at Wrigley Field. “Physically, he’s a really gifted guy. This is what you’re looking for as a scout.

“(We see him) primarily as an outfielder, but we’re not afraid to put him on the infield, too. He’ll take his groundballs there, also. We’ll utilize him wherever, just like we do with everybody else.

“He had a great spring training. The thing that I had heard about in the past was his (tendency) at the plate to not be as patient as you might like. And then all of a sudden, he was patient this spring coming off a really good winter-ball (experience).”

[SHOP: Get the latest Cubs gear here]

To make room for Lake on the 25-man roster, the Cubs sent right-handed reliever Brian Schlitter down to Iowa. Schlitter, 29, posted a 9.53 ERA and 2.12 WHIP this season, allowing at least one run in four of his seven appearances.

Schlitter, who went to Maine South High School, was a solid piece in the Cubs bullpen last season, putting up a 4.15 ERA and finishing fourth on the team with 61 appearances.

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?


Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.


Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below:


Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers.