09/19/12 7:58 PM ET
With Vitters at third, Cubs seek results, not style
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
"When you play third base, or any position, for certain people, they can do things by the book," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday. "When you play third base, it's more spontaneous, as far as how you get the job done. You watch some of the great third basemen of all time, none of them were the prototypical, the way you teach infield play.
"It's a position where you don't get many routine plays [because] there's a lot of different bounces, different angles. You have to find what's comfortable for you sometimes, and it might even be throwing sidearm."
Vitters has been doing early work with infield coach Pat Listach, working on his footwork and throwing.
"We don't care how it gets done, just get it done," Sveum said. "I turned into much more of a guy who threw on the run and threw sidearm. I had a really strong arm, but I wasn't as accurate when I got on top as when I threw sidearm. Sometimes it takes a while to figure that out."
Whether or not Vitters is the answer at third in 2013 is yet to be determined.
"Obviously, we have some holes in a lot of areas that might need to be fixed, and we don't know exactly where that money is going to go," Sveum said. "[Luis] Valbuena will be part of the organization, and he does one heck of a job himself. We don't know what's going to happen there [at third]."
Williams compares current Cubs to '66 team
CHICAGO -- Hall of Famer Billy Williams batted .276 and hit 29 home runs with 23 doubles in 1966, but it wasn't enough as the Cubs lost 103 games that season.
That's the last time the Cubs lost 100 games. The current team is trying to do whatever it can to avoid being the first since '66 to reach the century mark in losses.
Ron Santo hit 30 home runs and batted .312 in '66, Ernie Banks batted .272, but Williams admits it was a tough season.
"When you lose 100 games, not too many guys have a good year that year," Williams said Wednesday.
The '66 team was Leo Durocher's first year as Cubs manager.
"It was a rebuilding process, like this," Williams said, comparing his team to the current club. "At that time, you look at it as a rebuilding baseball team."
Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler was assigned to the Cubs instructional league and not the Arizona Fall League after playing 14 games in the Rookie League and another 20 with Class A Peoria.
"We feel he's at a point in his development where he needs a lot of instruction," said Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations. "He hasn't played a ton of quote-unquote organized baseball. It's not a question of talent. It's a good chance to get one-on-one instruction.
"There are some small mechanical adjustments we want him to make with his swing, with his stride and a little bit of where he starts his hands, loads his hands," Epstein said of Soler, who batted .338 with Peoria. "Those type of adjustments are better made with the club's supervision and one-on-one environment."
Anthony Rizzo will hold his first "Walk Off for Cancer" benefit on Dec. 9 at Pine Trails Park, Parkland, Fla. It's the first major event for the newly created Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. For more information, go to www.Rizzo44.com.
Adrian Cardenas and Darwin Barney visited patients at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital on Wednesday. They stopped by the oncology floor and signed Cubs hats and posed for photos. Later, Barney went to the new Ronald McDonald House. Cardenas made an appearance on their SkyTV Network, an in-house television network which is shown to all the rooms at the hospital.
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.