PHOENIX -- Brad Nelson knew when he signed with the Cubs that the odds of him winning a spot in the every day lineup were slim. After all, the Cubs are counting on Anthony Rizzo playing nearly every game at first base.
"I'm a realist," Nelson said.
On Thursday, Nelson hit a three-run home run to help the Cubs beat the Mariners. On Friday, Nelson was assigned to the Cubs' Minor League camp, and most likely will be the starting first baseman for Triple-A Iowa. That's not necessarily a bad thing for the Algona, Iowa, native.
"You're like, 'Hey, I can see what the grass and flowers look like at our house,'" Nelson said about playing close to home.
It's not that he wouldn't have played in Chicago. Right now, Iowa is a good option.
"I still get to play, and when you're still playing, there's always a chance," Nelson said. "I know it's right place, right time. That's out of my control -- that's management and God's hands and his path."
In 18 Cactus League games, Nelson batted .279 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.