You've got to root for Bill Mueller (above), who has been thrust
into one of the least stable positions in the majors--third base
for the Cubs, where 38 men have started since Opening Day 13
years ago. Through Sunday, Mueller, who was traded to Chicago
last November after five seasons with the Giants, was hitting
.300 with two home runs and four RBIs, and had yet to miss a
game at a spot where no one has played as many as 130 games,
reached 500 at bats, batted as high as .280, hit 20 home runs or
driven in 70 runs in a season since 1988. Even if Mueller's bat
doesn't keep him in the lineup, his glove will--his .974
fielding percentage led National League third basemen last
season. Here's how cold the Cubs' regulars at the hot corner
have been.

--David Sabino

YEAR PRIMARY STARTER GAMES AT SEASON AB AVG. HR RBI
3B

2001 Bill Mueller 12 50 .300 2 4
2000 Willie Greene 90 299 .201 10 37
1999 Gary Gaetti 81 280 .204 9 46
1998 Kevin Orie* 57 204 .181 2 21
1997 Kevin Orie 112 364 .275 8 44
1996 Leo Gomez 124 362 .238 17 56
1995 Todd Zeile* 75 299 .227 9 30
1994 Steve Buechele* 99 339 .242 14 52
1993 Steve Buechele 129 460 .272 15 65
1992 Steve Buechele 63 239 .276 1 21
1991 Luis Salazar 86 333 .258 14 38
1990 Luis Salazar 91 410 .254 12 47
1989 Vance Law 119 408 .235 7 42
1988 Vance Law 150 556 .293 11 78

*Played for two teams in the season; Cubs stats only

COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)