Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 5 Months

Mike Olt is not in the Cubs' lineup Friday.

Neither is Junior Lake, as Luis Valbuena is starting at third base and Ryan Sweeney is starting in left field versus the Phillies' Roberto Hernandez. Olt hit his first major league home run Thursday but has now been on the bench for two of the team's first four games.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 5 Months

Mike Olt slugged his first career home run Thursday in the Cubs' victory over the Pirates.

It was a second-inning shot off Pittsburgh starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. Olt went hitless for the rest of the game and is batting just .143 so far this season, but the former Rangers prospect carries decent fantasy upside as the Cubs' regular third baseman.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 5 Months

Mike Olt has earned an Opening Day roster spot.

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer made the announcement on Thursday morning in camp. Olt earned his spot by posting a .929 OPS in 56 plate appearances this spring and should be Chicago's regular third baseman for the majority of the 2014 season. Top third base prospect Kris Bryant is on the way. Olt makes for a decent flier in deeper mixed fantasy leagues because of his past production in the Rangers' minor league system.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 5 Months

Mike Olt (shoulder) will get his first Cactus League start at third base on Thursday.

Olt has been bothered all spring by fatigue in his right shoulder, but he's now making steady strides and will try to get as close as possible to 100 percent fitness by Opening Day. The former top Rangers prospect could take over starting third base duties in Chicago early this season. Luis Valbuena is all that stands in his way.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 5 Months

Mike Olt (shoulder) will return to Cactus League action Wednesday.

Olt was scratched from Monday's lineup due to fatigue in right shoulder, an issue that's bothered him off and on this spring. He's feeling better now, though, and ready to give it a go.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 5 Months

Mike Olt was scratched from Monday's lineup due to fatigue in right shoulder.

Olt has battled shoulder issues on and off all spring, but Cubs manager Rick Renteria isn't concerned. "We're looking to keep him healthy," the skipper said. Olt is expected to begin the season at Triple-A.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 6 Months

Mike Olt hit two home runs in Wednesday night's Cactus League game against the Mariners.

Olt had been battling some shoulder soreness, but he broke out in a big way on Wednesday evening. "The last couple of days I've felt much better, just in batting practice, doing some extra work," he said after the game. "Made some serious strides." Olt, a former top prospect of the Rangers, could very easily take over starting third base duties this season in Chicago.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 6 Months

Mike Olt (shoulder) is getting closer to playing third base.

Olt has been bothered by shoulder soreness this spring, but he is beginning to make progress. "I've thrown there the last couple of days," said Olt. "My velocity is right where it needs to be." The 24-year-old figures to begin the season in the minors, but it might not take long for him to replace Luis Valbuena if he gets off to a quick start with the bat.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 6 Months

Mike Olt hit a two-run home run in his only at-bat on Tuesday against the Athletics.

Olt has been bothered by shoulder soreness and has seen limited action in the Cactus League thus far. The former Rangers top prospect battled vision issues last year as well. He'll start the year in the minors most likely, but could displace Luis Valbuena at third base if he hits well enough.

Mike Olt 1B/3B CHC 6 Months

Mike Olt (shoulder) is hoping to make his Cactus League debut at third base soon.

Olt started the opener in the DH spot, but some shoulder soreness has kept him from playing the field. He's feeling much better, though, so we should see him at the hot corner soon enough. Olt is competing for the third base job but will almost surely begin the year in the minors.