Cabrera, Clevenger both in action for Cubs

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Steve Clevenger’s play at the start of 2012 definitely opened some eyes

He was named to the Cubs’ 25-man roster when the club broke camp, beating out the highly touted Welington Castillo for the backup catcher position behind Geovany Soto. Then the rookie started April going 11-for-22 with five doubles before injuries set him back for the rest of the season. Clevenger finished the year hitting .201 in 215 plate appearances.

In the offseason, the Cubs went out and got a former All-Star in Dioner Navarro to back up Castillo in 2013. Though both catcher spots are already accounted for, Cubs manager Dale Sveum has been looking for ways to get Clevenger more at-bats, even if it means putting the catcher at different positions around the infield.

A seventh round pick in 2006, the 26-year-old Clevenger was selected as an infielder and didn’t switch exclusively to catcher until 2009. He spent much of his time at first base, but also played second and occasionally third. While he’ll be in the lineup as a catcher on Monday when the Cubs host Cleveland, don’t be surprised to see him logging some innings at first this spring, with the hopes of being the squad’s backup first baseman, third catcher and left-handed bat off the bench.

Alberto Cabrera will get the start Monday. It will mark his second appearance of the spring. In his first appearance last week, he went 2.2 innings, surrendering two earned runs and striking out three. The organization appears high on the 24-year-old, who will likely try his luck as a starter in Triple-A to begin the season. In 21.2 innings of major league ball in 2012, the Dominican native had a 5.40 ERA, but struck out 27 batters.

First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 CST, and the game will be webcast at cubs.com. The Indians will be sending Zach McAllister to the hill. Here is the Cubs full batting order:

SS Luis Valbuena
CF Darnell McDonald
RF Scott Hairston
LF Alfonso Soriano
C Steve Clevenger
3B Junior Lake
1B Brad Nelson
DH Jorge Soler
2B Logan Watkins

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