PHOENIX -- No one was happier to see Alfonso Soriano return to the Cubs' lineup than Mark DeRosa.
The Cubs' starting second baseman, DeRosa has subbed in left field for Soriano while he rehabbed from a broken bone in his left hand. In 27 games in left, DeRosa was batting .307.
But he entered Wednesday's game 3-for-16 since the All-Star break, and was hitting .203 in 17 games this month. Did playing the outfield wear him down?
"I wanted to know my stats as an outfielder and infielder," DeRosa said. "They're identical."
They're real close. As an infielder, DeRosa was hitting .277 (56-for-202), and as an outfielder, he's hitting .283 (34-for-120).
"I played 70-something games in a row in Texas [in the outfield]," DeRosa said. "I don't mind going out there, but if I had my preference, it would be to play the infield. The situation called for me to go to the outfield.
"I love the fact that Lou [Piniella] feels he can stick me anywhere," DeRosa said. "He can say, 'All right, you're in left first six innings, we have to double switch, DeRosa can move to third, short, second, right, first.' I take that as a huge compliment that he feels I'm capable of playing a bunch of places.
"At the same time, you're going to botch some balls. That's just the way it goes."
DeRosa's versatility is a plus for the Cubs.
"I pride myself on being able to move around," he said. "I never expected to be in the same place every day. I knew that when I signed here, too. Because of Soriano's injury, I was in the outfield every day and Mike Fontenot's probably our best hitter right now, him and Ryan [Theriot]. I do whatever they tell me to do. I've got no problems playing anywhere."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.