Off DL, Clevenger Cubs' primary catcher

Off DL, Clevenger Cubs' primary catcher

Off DL, Clevenger Cubs' primary catcher
CHICAGO -- The musical chairs of Cubs catchers continued Tuesday, only this time the movement was good news.

Steve Clevenger, the first of three Cubs backstops to land on the disabled list this year, was reinstated from the 15-day DL prior to the second game of a three-game set against the Padres. Fellow catcher Blake Lalli was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Clevenger, out since April 26 with a strained right oblique and rib cage injury, played in five games for Iowa, hitting .462 (6-for-13). He caught nine innings Monday and proved he was ready to return earlier than expected, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Sveum said Clevenger, who was hitting .500 (11-for-22) with five doubles at the time of his injury, will play often, as much as two out of three games. Regular starter Geovany Soto (left knee surgery) remains on the DL, while Koyie Hill started Tuesday.

"We'll ease into it here in the beginning, but he'll play quite a bit once he gets his feet underneath him and gets back into everyday shape," Sveum said.

Sveum also said Welington Castillo, who was placed on the DL on May 22 with a mild sprain of the MCL in his right knee, could miss up to two more weeks.

"He's still having a little bit of trouble getting in the squat and blocking," Sveum said. "So it's coming along, but it's a little bit slower than we thought. He's going to have to go prove for a while on a rehab stint that he can do it on a long-term basis -- squatting and blocking and catching 150 pitches a game."