One surprise among Cubs’ Monday additions

 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for McGehee.jpgCHICAGO — We expected 1B Micah Hoffpauir, C Koyie Hill, RHP Jon Lieber, RHP Angel Guzman and RHP Michael Wuertz. We did not expect 3B Casey McGehee.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced the first round of the club’s September callups after Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia. The only head-scratching name on that list was McGehee (pictured), who’s not currently on the 40-man roster and spent parts of the last three seasons in Triple-A, yet has never played in the Majors. A September playoff chase is quite a welcome to the big leagues.

Judging by McGehee’s recent numbers, his name deserves mention. He batted over .300 the last three months (.330 in June, .314 in July, .330 in August) for Triple-A Iowa. For the season, he’s hitting .296 with 12 home runs and 92 RBIs. If you recall, he shined in Spring Training with a .405 average.

Just what will McGehee’s role be in Chicago? Minimal, like his fellow callups. He’ll join Reed Johnson, Ronny Cedeno and Henry Blanco as right-handed pinch-hitting options. Perhaps he’ll get a start or two in place of Aramis Ramirez if the Cubs can clinch home-field advantage with a few games left.

More players could be added after Iowa’s season concludes in the playoffs. Names to keep an eye on are CF Felix Pie and RHP Kevin Hart.

— Nick Zaccardi

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