Mike Olt Hammering His Way to Starting Spot for Chicago Cubs
The “Bubble Watch” is a term not just reserved for March Madness. As Spring Training is now about halfway complete, players looking to make big-league rosters could also be viewed as on the “bubble.” Mike Olt is one of those bubble players for the Chicago Cubs. Against the Seattle Mariners, Olt may have just hammered his way to a spot on Opening Day and popped that bubble.
Olt had three hits in the game with two of them being long home runs through the Arizona night. He also added an RBI single and three runs driven in all told. For the spring, he is now hitting over .300 with three home runs and six RBIs. With each day, Olt appears at full strength and fully recovered from corrective eye surgery. In his first camp as a Cub, he is seeing the ball well and now has his sights set on making the Opening Day roster.
For the starting third base job, Olt is likely competing with Luis Valbuena and Emilio Bonifacio. There also appears to be just not enough spots for guys like Donnie Murphy and Logan Watkins on the final 25-man roster. When the final roster is announced, another name that will not be included is Javier Baez. The No. 7 prospect also crushed his third home run of camp and has really played well in the absence of Starlin Castro this spring. For as much as fans will want Baez at Wrigley Field for the home opener, it simply is just not time for the electric phenom.
It is, however, time for Olt to have his opportunity. If he is truly healthy, he is very much capable of manning the hot corner both offensively and defensively for Chicago. If Olt also continues to slug, he will add some much needed power to the Cubs’ order behind Anthony Rizzo. Here in March, Olt’s name can be taken off of the bubble and put into the Cubs’ lineup.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.