Pena welcoming toward callup LaHair

Pena welcoming toward callup LaHair

CHICAGO -- Sometimes, when a player is brought up from Triple-A, veteran players can be very protective of their positions.

That is anything but the case between first baseman Bryan LaHair, who was called up Friday, and veteran first baseman Carlos Pena.

"I want him to get some opportunity and really get a shot and get his feet wet," Pena said. "He deserves it. We'll find a way. Obviously I want to be there every single day at first base, but I want him to play also. We'll find a way to work it in."

LaHair, the 28-year-old who was named the 2011 Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player after batting .331 with an Iowa franchise-record 38 home runs and 109 RBIs in 129 games, is getting his first stint in the Majors with the Cubs after spending nine seasons in the Minors with two teams.

Pena said the two built a friendship during Spring Training, and since LaHair's arrival in Chicago, they have already begun working together.

"What goes first is that I'm a teammate," Pena said. "He's actually a personal friend more than anything. We just kind of try to help each other out. ... He had an unbelievable year in Triple-A, and he deserves to be here. I'm very happy to have him."