Clevenger earning more playing time

Clevenger earning more playing time

CHICAGO -- Steve Clevenger may be getting more playing time than most backup catchers.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Tuesday that Clevenger could start twice a week, depending on matchups and the schedule.

"One, he's a heck of a catcher," Sveum said of Clevenger, who guided Jeff Samardzija over 8 2/3 innings on Sunday. "He receives well, he calls the game, he throws the ball extremely accurate and the good thing about having him on the bench [is he's a left-handed bat]. That's a nice asset to have on your bench."

But Sveum said he has to be careful not to use him too early in games.

"He's a valuable weapon," Sveum said of Clevenger, a former shortstop. "He's probably as good, and to me, one of the best backup catchers in all of baseball. It's a very difficult position to find. He has tremendous assets in every part of it -- blocking, receiving -- and pitchers love throwing to him, and he can hit. He has really quality at-bats most of the time."