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After strong winter, Valbuena hopes for successful spring


MESA, Ariz. -- Luis Valbuena batted .306 in the Venezuelan Winter League and is a favorite of Cubs manager Dale Sveum after his play last season. But Valbuena isn't taking anything for granted.

"This year, I don't feel like I'm on the team," Valbuena said Saturday. "I have to work hard like I've been doing the last two, three years. I'm competing right now."

Valbuena, who played second, short and third base while in Venezuela, batted .219 in 90 games with the Cubs, taking over at third when Ian Stewart was sidelined with a wrist injury. Stewart is back and healthy. Is third base Stewart's job to lose?

"I would say it's his job to win," Sveum said.

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