The Buried Lead Part I: Jake Fox Can Catch

Indians vs. Cubs
Breaking News: Jake Fox can catch.

There were myriad heroes in Monday night's Cubs win against the Astros. Take your pick. You can have Derrek Lee, who visited Waveland Avenue on a game-tying blast in the fourth inning. How about Carlos Zambrano (3-1, 2.63 earned run average in July) and another stellar summer outting. Of course, there's the obvious choice, Alfonso Soriano. This blog was once committed to bringing out the buried lead in stories, and today, I return to those roots to bring it out.

Last night's biggest hero was Jake Fox.


Fox took over for Koyie Hill in the 10th inning and called a heck of a game behind the plate and did his part to preserve a 1-1 tie. Hill, who is renowned as one of the better game-callers and defensive catchers since debuting for the Cubs in 2007, watched from the sidelines as Fox caught four scoreless innings before Soriano's slam ended it.

The latest in the line of late-developing Iowa Cub phenoms, Fox has proven to be a very valuable asset to the North Side Nine. He can play both corner outfield and corner infield positions. And proved last night, and in some other spots, that he can serve as a back-up catcher. He's like Mark DeRosa, but without the fawning twentysomethingyearold babes dudes with DeRo posters above their beds.

It is almost too bad the Cubs do not play in the American League, where Fox would garner plenty of at bats as a designated hitter. Until the day Jim Hendry goofs and trades him to an American League team in exchange for some burned out prospects and a dozen donutes, it is up to manager Lou Piniella to find him some playing time.

Check that. A lot of playing time.