By Evan Brunell
The first-base situation in Arizona got a little clearer Tuesday when manager Kirk Gibson said that Juan Miranda would get the bulk of playing time at the position.
On the heels of declining to call Miranda his starting first baseman on opening day, he opened up now that a few games have gone by.
"He’ll probably get most of the starts, the majority of them right now,” Gibson said of Miranda to the Arizona Republic. "I want to give him a chance to see how he can play. He’s been behind [Mark Teixeira] in New York for a while."
Miranda was acquired by GM Kevin Towers this offseason from the Yankees. Towers spent a year as a scout for the Yankees after being let go from his longtime gig as GM of the Padres. Miranda is clearly someone Towers had his eye on, which has led to his spot in the majors for Arizona. Over the last three years, the 27-year-old cobbled together just 94 plate appearances, hitting .253/.330/.458. In Triple-A, the left-hander cranked 15 home runs in 340 PA last season, hitting .285/.371/.495.
Miranda entered Tuesday's game with two hits in five at-bats and as of this writing is still hitless in the Cubs afternoon game after two trips to the plate.
"I’ll keep mixing it up, though," Gibson said, noting that the team has Russell Branyan on the bench, plus Xavier Nady can play first base. “With Russell, he’s dangerous off the bench. He’s a veteran guy. He’s always had a back issue and I don’t want to push him right now. We’ve got cold weather and everything. But he’ll be ready coming off the bench."