PHOENIX -- Junior Lake primarily played the infield in the Minor Leagues, and Cubs manager Dale Sveum considered moving the rookie from the outfield to third base on Wednesday.
"[Sveum] didn't want to do that because [Lake's] riding such a wave right now. Why give him something extra to think about?" said Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations.
Lake entered Wednesday's game with 12 hits in his first five games, and then doubled in his first at-bat in the first against the Diamondbacks. He joins George Kelly (1930) and Emil Verban (1948) as the only Cubs to have a dozen hits in their first five games.
He was promoted from Triple-A Iowa after Brian Bogusevic aggravated his left hamstring, which left the Cubs thin as far as outfielders. The club could've sent Lake back to the Minor Leagues after David DeJesus was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, but instead, Dave Sappelt was optioned to Iowa.
Lake isn't going anywhere now.
"He's got that incredible physical ability, amazing tools, where when he is locked in and seeing the ball well, he can do some things on the baseball field that make you drop your jaw," Epstein said. "His development is all about maturation and the mental side of the game. He's made huge improvements in seeing the right-handed breaking ball. He used to be a really big chaser. It's something he's cut down on. ... You don't see guys with bodies like that and power and speed.
"He's got the physical abilities to take a big step forward. Do I think one week in the big leagues show that he has? No. We're really excited for him and the start he's off to."
Lake finished third in the Most Valuable Player Award voting in the Dominican Winter League, which Epstein said may have helped the rookie's confidence. David Jauss, whom Epstein knows from his days with the Red Sox, was Lake's manager in the Dominican Republic.
"He's showing right now he's playing with a ton of confidence that he really belongs here," Epstein said. "This is the league he feels he's ready for and he's going out and showing it."
DeJesus activated off DL; Sappelt optioned
PHOENIX -- Cubs outfielder David DeJesus, sidelined since June 24 with a sprained right shoulder, was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, and Dave Sappelt was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
The next question, though, is how long will DeJesus stay with the Cubs?
DeJesus was injured when he crashed into the outfield wall at Citi Field. He played four rehab games for the Cubs' Rookie League team.
"When I'm at the plate, I'm not really worrying about it," DeJesus said of his shoulder.
Sappelt played 11 games in July, and was 10-for-30 with a double.
DeJesus started in center field and led off on Wednesday against the D-backs. Rookie Junior Lake, who had been playing center and had 12 hits in his first five games, shifted to left field.
"I thought about [the order] for 10, 15 minutes, and decided just get Lake at the top of the lineup, and it doesn't matter first or second," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "DeJesus' game is built for that spot. I've got 'Laker' in the second spot."
DeJesus' name has been mentioned in trade rumors, and Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, did take time to talk to the outfielder, but not about a possible move. Instead, Epstein wanted to thank DeJesus, and tell him how much they appreciate his mentorship of the younger players. DeJesus showed that during his rehab stint with the Rookie League players, many of whom are teenagers.
"He's a really good baseball player, lived up to his contract. He's a left-handed bat who has the exact approach we're trying to teach in this organization," Epstein said. "There's a lot of value to having him here. That said, will we make him untouchable? No -- no one's untouchable. We'll sit and weigh out the options and what's best for the Cubs."
DeJesus was prepared.
"My name's been in the rumors before," he said. "It's nothing new. You've just got to be professional and play the game and see what happens from there."
Baker goes three innings in rehab start
PHOENIX -- Cubs right-handed pitcher Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, gave up three runs on five hits over three innings in his third rehab start for Class A Kane County.
Baker started against Beloit on Wednesday, and served up a two-run home run in the first inning.
The right-hander, whom the Cubs hoped could pitch for the big league team this season, now has been charged with 13 runs on 17 hits and six walks over 8 2/3 innings during his rehab.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.