The only person on any team that might have a small reason to be glad another player isn’t fully returned from injury is the guy that is playing in his place in the order. That could be the case with the Chicago Cubs current third baseman Luis Valbuena. Valbuena is getting the opening day start only because the Cubs normal third baseman is taking longer than the team thought to get back to action. Valbuena needs to make the most of it.
If indeed he plans to make the most of the chance he has been given at third base, Valbuena needs to recognize that he has to hit better. Thus far in his career he is batting barely over the .200 mark and that just isn’t something that is going to be okay at third base. In short, if Valbuena does not hit better, even if he plays gold glove quality defense over there, he won’t be sticking around after the injured Stewart returns.
Stewart isn’t exactly winning All-star appearance by the year when he is healthy. So honestly, Valbuena doen’t have to play a ton better than he already is but just a little. If he cannot do that then he doesn’t need to stick around at third anyway for the Cubs. Honestly, in my opinion I think that the Cubs will be better of waiting for Stewart’s return than to put a lot of pressure on Valbuena. He has never really caught on anywhere for long. Looking at his spring, unless he really turns a corner on Opening Day, it doesn’t look like Valbuena will be sticking with the Cubs for long