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Fontenot handling reduced playing time

Fontenot handling reduced playing time

CHICAGO -- It's been a roller-coaster ride for Cubs infielder Mike Fontenot this season.

He began the year as the starting second baseman, projected to platoon with Jeff Baker at the position. Fontenot struggled to hit .236 last season, so winning the starting job was a positive step. He got off to a good start, too, and was batting .306 last Friday when everything changed.

That's when the Cubs called up highly touted shortstop Starlin Castro and decided to move Ryan Theriot from short to second base to make room.

Fontenot suddenly lost his starting job and was now on the bench.

On Wednesday, he smacked a two-run double in the second inning to help the Cubs beat the Marlins, 4-3, and end a four-game losing streak. It was his fourth at-bat in five games since Castro was called up.

"I just do whatever I can whenever I get a chance to get in there -- try to help the team in any way," Fontenot said. "That's what I've always tried to do."

He did play last Friday, notching his first career grand slam in a pinch-hit at-bat in the Cubs' 14-7 win over the Reds. But when he arrived at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, Fontenot didn't know if he would be playing. He started at second because Theriot took a day to rest a tight right hamstring.

"I wasn't sure," Fontenot said about starting. "Like I always say, just try to come to the field ready. You never know."

He's hitting .308, but knows his playing time will be limited.

"I guess that's baseball," Fontenot said. "There's nothing I can do. Just try to make the most of it and do things that help the team. That's what we're all here to do is win ballgames in any way or form."

He's talked to Theriot, who was Fontenot's infield mate at LSU. Castro has made five errors in his first six big league games, but he played better in the field on Wednesday and went 2-for-4. He's now batting .364 (8-for-22).

"It's one of those things," Fontenot said of his reduced playing time. "We're all in this together and trying to help each other out, whoever is out there."

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