Cubs

Cubs Put Valbuena On DL, Recall Watkins

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Luis Valbuena #24 of the Chicago Cubs hits a solo home run in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on July 3, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Luis Valbuena #24 of the Chicago Cubs hits a solo home run in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on July 3, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs placed infielder Luis Valbuena on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday because he strained a muscle on his right side.

Chicago recalled infielder Logan Watkins from Triple-A Iowa to take his place. He was in the lineup at second base and batting seventh against the Dodgers on Sunday for his major league debut.

Watkins was the Cubs’ 2012 minor league player of the year after batting .281 with 93 runs scored and nine home runs for Double-A Tennessee. He was added to the 40-man roster in November, and he was hitting .243 with eight home runs in 107 games at Triple-A.

“That’s a big part of my game, drawing walks,” said Watkins, who has a career on-base percentage of .365 in the minors. “This is the first year I’ve ever hit leadoff in Triple-A. I’ve always been the two-hole hitter. I was learning a lot. It was a good year for me as far as learning a lot and getting better.”

With the addition of Watkins, second baseman Darwin Barney can occasionally move to shortstop and give Starlin Castro a day off, manager Dale Sveum said.

Valbuena was batting .225 with nine home runs in 89 games for the Cubs. He aggravated an injury Friday in the Cubs’ 6-2 loss to the Dodgers.

“He did it four or five days ago, felt it and then when he pinch hit the other night, he got it pretty good,” Sveum said.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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