Bryan LaHair doesn’t get much of a day off
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com May 22, 2012 10:10PM
The Cubs’ Bryan LaHair tosses his bat after striking out in the seventh inning Tuesday against the Astros. | Pat Sullivan~AP
Updated: July 2, 2012 10:02AM
HOUSTON — First baseman Bryan LaHair was expected to get what manager Dale Sveum called a ‘‘mental day off’’ Tuesday, but he entered the game on a double switch in the sixth inning and struck out in his only at-bat in the seventh.
‘‘I’ll take [the day off],’’ LaHair, who leads the Cubs in most offensive categories despite a 1-for-21 slump, said before the game. ‘‘I had some rough luck for a few games there where I had no results. It’s just baseball. I go through it every year. Everybody goes through it.’’
LaHair’s first day as a non-starter since April 18 also gave him a chance to rest his sore right foot, which finally has started to get better after two months.
Sveum said he planned to leave Houston early Wednesday to return home to Arizona for his son Rustin’s high school graduation. Consider it his own mental-health day.
‘‘You can call it that, I guess,’’ he said with a laugh before the game. ‘‘Hopefully we can play a really good game [Tuesday], and I won’t have to sit at home and hope to get off this [losing] streak.’’
Assuming he doesn’t reconsider, he’s expected to rejoin the Cubs for the opener of a three-game road series Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bench coach Jamie Quirk was to fill in for Sveum on Wednesday.
The Cubs put catcher Welington Castillo (knee) on the 15-day disabled list to make room on the roster for left-hander Travis Wood.
† Catcher Blake Lalli, who got his first major-league hit in the ninth inning Monday, made his first start Tuesday.
† Catcher Steve Clevenger (oblique) went 1-for-2 and scored from first on a hit in his first minor-league rehab start Tuesday. That made Sveum optimistic he’ll be ready to play when the Cubs start a homestand Monday.