The theories about Ian Stewart's injury affecting his viability as the Chicago Cubs third baseman seem a bit overhyped.

Stewart, though injured most of the spring, is really the only true third baseman in camp who can be projected as the every day starter.


The media speculation suggests that Stewart’s lack of playing time and manager Dale Sveum’s concern with a black hole at one of the power positions in baseball may result in Stewart not making the roster. But the thought that he might be cut does not hold true, due to the team’s obvious lack of alternatives at the hot corner.

Stewart, who has maintained he isn’t concerned about his job, was optimistic he could be in a Cactus League game as early as the end of next week after a productive rehab session on Sunday.

“It may be even earlier than (Friday),” Stewart said Sunday. “ Yesterday we tried running and there was a little tightness at around 80 percent. I basically did everything I need to do to prepare for a game. Now it is just the running part of it .”

With opening day just three weeks away there are only so many options for the Cubs beyond Stewart. Luis Valbuena has done a nice job of filling in for Stewart, who missed 107 games with a wrist injury in 2012. In an ideal situation, Valbuena is the backup infielder at three positions if Stewart is healthy on opening day . At 28 Stewart is hardly over the hill, but injuries since 2010 have taken some of the luster off what was a promising career.