Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/27/12

The trade of center fielder Marlon Byrd has opened up some new lineup possibilities for Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum as he tries to find any combination that will produce runs.

Byrd was a middle-of-the-order hitter, but his horrendous start (3-for-43) handcuffed Sveum and the Cubs.

Now, Sveum can go with Tony Campana, Reed Johnson and Joe Mather in center field. None is a power hitter, but each brings a little something different.

Campana is the most interesting of the three because of his blazing speed. If Campana can get on base, and that is a concern, he can create havoc. Sveum said that although it might be tempting to bat Campana leadoff, he's more inclined to leave David DeJesus there and let Campana hit second. That drops second baseman Darwin Barney down to seventh or eighth.

"DeJesus' on-base percentage has been good," said Sveum, noting that DeJesus had three hits and a walk in the final two games of the St. Louis series this week. "He can drive the ball and hit doubles to where Campana can bunt him over as well as get a hit when he's bunting him over. When he's putting a sacrifice bunt down for a basehit, the odds are pretty good in our favor he's getting them over and possibly getting on base with a hit."

That leads to another interesting spot for Sveum, who works for a sabermetrically inclined front office headed by Theo Epstein. The new-school thinking says bunting with position players, especially early in games, is akin to giving away outs.

Sveum says he sees an exception to that so-called rule with Campana in the lineup.

"With those kind of guys, yeah," he said of bunting with Campana. "I think you have to. You're putting pressure on the defense to throw a ball away. It's going to be bang-bang whether it's at somebody or not. If he pulls off a good bunt, he's going to be safe."

The bigger concern with the Cubs as they head to Philadelphia for a four-game series and Cincinnati for a three-game set is slugging percentage, or lack of it. The Cubs have slugged just .333 as a team, which ranks 28th among the 30 major league teams. Of Chicago's seven homers, first baseman Bryan LaHair has four. The other three have come from Barney, Geovany Soto and Ian Stewart.

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