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Career minor leaguer Bryan LaHair had big April for Cubs

Bryan LaHair

Chicago Cubs’ Bryan LaHair reacts after hitting a game tying, two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake, also scoring Starlin Castro, during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

AP

Not much has gone right for the Cubs early on this season, but the decision to give 29-year-old career minor leaguer Bryan LaHair the starting job at first base is looking very good.

After knocking around Triple-A pitching for five-and-half seasons LaHair finally got his big break and has taken advantage in a huge way, hitting .390 with five homers, eight doubles, and a 1.251 OPS in 20 games.

He’ll come back down to earth eventually, of course, but LaHair hit .331 with 38 homers in 129 games at Triple-A last season and has a .528 slugging percentage in 653 total games at Triple-A.

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Dale Sveum deserve credit for giving LaHair a long-deserved chance that the previous regime was unlikely to provide and it’ll be interesting to see what the Cubs do if first base prospect Anthony Rizzo continues to push for a promotion to the majors with a strong performance at Triple-A.

Chicago could certainly use the added offense and LaHair could perhaps play left field somewhat passably, but the Cubs have Alfonso Soriano and his contract there.