Minors report: Lansford in right place
No. 1 pick Colvin heats up; Coats making a bid for bigs
Josh Lansford has grown up in Major League clubhouses.
The son of big leaguer Carney Lansford, Josh was the Cubs' sixth-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. His dad played 15 years in the Major Leagues with California, Boston and Oakland.
On Friday, Josh was back in a Major League clubhouse to play in a split-squad game for the Cubs, and was 1-for-2 against the San Diego Padres.
"This is like deja vu -- same exact stuff," Lansford said before Friday's game at HoHoKam Park. "It's kind of cool to be mixing with them and taking batting practice with them."
Being the son of a big-league player could make it difficult for anyone trying to pursue a similar dream.
"I used to put a lot more pressure on myself, but getting older, I've realized I'm my own player," Josh said. "We do things differently. I get a lot of outside pressure from people who don't understand what it's like to be the son of a former Major Leaguer. I just try to be my own person and play how I play the game."
At Class A Boise last year, Josh hit .255 in 62 games with five homers and 35 RBIs. And yes, he's a third baseman just like his dad.
"Ever since I could physically pick the ball up, I was throwing the ball all around the house," Josh said. "Mom would throw me soft toss with a little plastic ball and bat. Ever since I could hang out with the players, I wanted to be a baseball player."
"No -- not me or my brother," said Josh, whose older brother, Jared, is a pitcher in Oakland's Minor League system.
Josh isn't sure if his future is at third, but that's where he'd like to stay.
"That position fits me the best," he said. "You never know where the organization wants me to play."
He's had plenty of private lessons from his dad.
"Last year, he would drive three hours from our house in Santa Clara, Calif., down to San Luis Obispo to throw batting practice for me and hit some ground balls, and then he'd drive back three hours," said Josh, who attended Cal Poly State University. "That happened about three times a week."
You know how parents can hear their kids' voices in a crowd?
"I hear him -- the weird thing is I can pick him out in the stands, and I know his voice exactly," Josh said. "And I know what he's going to tell me before he says it."
The draft went well, Josh said, and he's glad to be with the Cubs. It's given him the opportunity to work with Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who will be the manager at Class A Peoria this year. Lansford isn't sure if he'll be his manager this summer.
It would be pretty cool to have a Hall of Fame manager.
"He's won a few Gold Gloves, too," Lansford said.
They're No. 1: Tyler Colvin, the Cubs' No. 1 pick last year, was 3-for-5 with two RBIs on Friday against the Texas Rangers, and hit his first home run.
Hot topic: What does a guy have to do to get to the big leagues? Outfielder Buck Coats has impressed Cubs manager Lou Piniella, both with his defense and his offense. On Saturday, Coats picked up another outfield assist. He's batting .458 this spring.
"I like Coats," Piniella said. "I like a lot of our young players. We have some nice athletic kids."
On the move: Expect the big-league team to make roster moves on Monday.
On the pine: Left-hander Sean Marshall is about three weeks behind the other pitchers in camp. He reported in shape, but with some lingering fatigue in his left shoulder. Marshall, 24, made the Opening Day roster last season despite never having pitched above the Double-A level. He threw his second batting practice session on Saturday and could be in a game this week.
Names in the game: Former Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe, who pitched for the Cubs from 1984-91, has been in camp as a guest coach and extra batting practice pitcher. And anyone who knows the big redhead's delivery will recognize him when he's on the mound.
Stat machine: Catcher Jake Fox asked Piniella for more playing time and was a sub on Saturday. He went 2-for-2, hitting a double and a two-run homer. But he also made an error on a throw. "I rushed it a little bit," Fox said of the throw. Fox also hit a three-run homer in Sunday's game against the Brewers.
What they're saying: "'N.D.' -- that's what I write in. 'Jeff N.D.' That's my spelling." -- Piniella, on how to spell former Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija's last name
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.