By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) Cubs infielder Mike Olt will get his first chance to play third base in a Cactus League game today.
Olt has been hampered by a sore shoulder all spring, relegating him to first base and DH duties. Coming up as a third baseman in the Texas Rangers system, the highly touted Olt was traded to the Cubs last July in the Matt Garza deal.
Olt admitted that he has ben frustrated by his shoulder stiffness this spring, but he added he has always experienced shoulder soreness in early spring.
“It feels a lot better,” Olt said Wednesday afternoon. “I just went out and did some work and it is the best it has felt.”
The game plan for Olt will be one day at a time after his initial game at third base.
“I am not sure what they are going to do,” Olt said. “They are definitely going to be smart about it. I will do whatever they say is right.”
Olt being ready to play every day at third base is a long shot to begin the season. He will play about four or five innings and than be re-evaluated on Friday. That will give him roughly 10 days to get ready, if he was to become a part of a platoon at third base.
“He is obviously swinging the bat real well,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “I know he has played third base well in the past. Again it gets back to the fact I need to see him healthy first. He has not been over there all spring, and we only have two weeks left.”
The plan if Olt doesn’t make the team is for Donnie Murphy and Luis Valbuena to split time in a platoon at third base to open the season.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.