One of the many players to watch for the Chicago Cubs during Spring Training is third baseman Mike Olt. The Cubs acquired Olt last July while the third baseman continued to return to form after dealing with an eye issue that may have been related to when he was beaned in a Winter League game in 2012.
Olt reported to Spring Training in February with no sight issues and was ready to make an impact in the Major Leagues. Something the third baseman was expected when he was once considered a top prospect in the Texas Rangers’ organization.
Olt has yet to appear in a Cactus League game for the Cubs, though, as the 25-year old is experiencing tenderness in his shoulder. Carrie Muskat reports that the Cubs are being cautious with the third baseman.
“He’s throwing fine and he’s been working at all the positions getting himself ready,” Renteria said Friday of Olt, who has been limited to designated hitter so far.-Rick Renteria, Muskat Ramblings
With Olt being slowed, the chances of him cracking the Opening Day roster move to slim to none. Olt had an outside chance to make the roster when camp began, now battling an injury, the third baseman is facing an uphill climb.
Olt needs to prove in 2014 that he can be a productive baseball player for the Cubs organization. Olt failed to so do so with the Iowa Cubs last summer as he struggled considerably and was looking forward to regaining his form this season. The Cubs are hoping for a bounce back as well.
Olt had been taking the steps in camp to increase his productivity as beyond his regular duties at the third base position, the former Ranger was also taking grounders at the first base position. The Cubs are currently without a backup to starting first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Olt is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Saturday as a designated hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks. No word yet if he has been scratched from the lineup.