Bogusevic at first, Cubs demote three

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs outfielder Brian Bogusevic knows a thing or two about the city of Chicago. Born in the south suburb of Oak Lawn, the 29-year-old attended De La Salle High School before going to school at Tulane University. Now the 2005 first-round draft pick by the Astros is hoping for an opportunity to play in the city where it all started.

The outfielder got his first taste of the big leagues in 2010, playing in only 19 games for the Astros. He was solid in 87 games for Houston the following season, hitting .287/.348/.457 with 14 doubles while rotating between the corner outfield spots. In nearly a full season in 2012, however, he hit just .203 despite drawing 41 walks in 404 plate appearances. But that’s not to say he doesn’t have a shot at making the Opening Day roster for the Cubs.

This spring, Bogusevic has been on a tear, hitting .429 with a homer and four RBI in 24 plate appearances. Manager Dale Sveum called him this year’s Joe Mather, a reference to the utility player who broke camp with the Cubs last season despite being a non-roster invitee. The Chicago native is penciled in to start at first base Friday against the Reds, though rain will likely prevent any action from taking place.

Nick Struck is scheduled to throw for the Cubs. The organization’s 2012 minor league pitcher of the year has made two appearances this spring, giving up one run over five innings and striking out two. Opposite Struck will be lefty Tony Cingrani for Cincinnati. The game is slated for 8:05 CST and fans can listen to the webcast at Cubs.com. Here’s the lineup Cingrani could face:

LF Dave Sappelt
2B Darwin Barney
CF Scott Hairston
DH Alfonso Soriano
SS Luis Valbuena
C Dioner Navarro
RF Jorge Soler
3B Junior Lake
1B Brian Bogusevic

Cubs Notes: Earlier in the day, the team sent catcher Michael Brenly and pitcher Dayan Diaz to minor league camp, and outfielder Matt Szczur to Double-A.

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