Meet the new Chicago Cubs Call-up: Outfielder Lou Montanez

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It’s been an injury-riddled 2011 for the Chicago Cubs thus far. Not that many people had huge expectations for the Cubs this year, but they certainly don’t have them now. We’re only to Memorial Day, and there’s been a boatload of roster shuffling mandated by injuries already.

Yesterday, the Cubs selected the contract of outfielder Lou Montanez from Triple-A Iowa and placed right-handed pitcher Matt Garza on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 18) with a right elbow bone contusion.

Montanez will wear uniform number 39 and be available immediately.

To make room for Montanez on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Montanez, 29, was originally selected by the Cubs with the third overall pick of the 2000 MLB Draft and joins Chicago ’s major league roster for the first time in his career. He spent seven seasons in the Cubs minor league system before joining the Orioles organization prior to the 2007 season. He made his big league debut with Baltimore in 2008 and spent part of three seasons in the big leagues with the Orioles (2008-10) before signing with the Cubs as a minor league free agent with an invite to spring training on January 12, 2011.

A right-handed batter and thrower, Montanez joins the Cubs having batted .369 (58-for-157) with 11 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 43 RBI in 42 games with Iowa . He has a .429 on-base percentage and a .573 slugging percentage, good for a 1.002 OPS. Montanez joins the Cubs ranking second in the Pacific Coast League in RBI, fifth in batting average and sixth in hits (58).

Montanez began his professional career in the Cubs organization in 2000 and advanced as far as Triple-A Iowa in 2006. He became a minor league free agent after that year and split the 2007 season between Baltimore ’s Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk affiliates. He won the Double-A Eastern League Triple Crown in 2008 by leading the league with a .335 batting average, 26 home runs and 97 RBI in 116 games for Bowie . He made his major league debut August 5, 2008 in Anaheim .

In 93 major league games with Baltimore , Montanez is a career .228 hitter (56-for-251) with 11 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 23 RBI. In 26 games for Baltimore last season, he batted .140 (8-for-57) with three RBI.

Garza is 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA (23 ER/55.2 IP) in nine starts with the Cubs this season.

Schlitter was placed on the disabled list on March 22 with a right elbow strain.

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