Alfonso Soriano-The Big Pink Elephant

As the Cubs head in to the week on a off day, the big, fat, pink elephant in the middle of the room, Alfonso Soriano and his return from the DL, is coming in to focus. According to this article by Greg Couch for the Sun-Times, Sweet Lou has stated that Sorinao will in fact return to the leadoff spot at some point after he returns from the DL on Thursday. Lou says that first ''We want to make sure that he can do all the things that a leadoff hitter needs to do.'' God help us.

Lou...buddy...when has Soriano ever shown that he can do all the things a leadoff hitter needs to do? He doesn't get on base at a good enough clip, he doesn't take enough pitches or walk enough, and he doesn't change his ABs to advance runners or simply try to get on base. He has a huge, somewhat wild, rip every time he swings the bat. That is not what you want out of the one hole. The only skill that Sori ever possessed was his speed. But with last year's quad injury still lingering (and it will likely never fully heal) and now with the calf injury (which is a likely cascade injury from the quad), Sori has clearly lost that skill. He's lost a step. Actually, if you listen to Cubs 3rd base coach Mike Quade, who probably knows better than some dude "blogging" from his parent's basement, he's lost a step and a half: ''There's no question,'' Quade said, ''that he's lost a step, maybe a step and a half.''

I agree with Couch in that Sori needs to be out of the 1 hole. But I disagree that he should be moved to 6th. Soriano is too valuable a player, despite what we've read about him in the last 15 days or so, to be that far down in the lineup. Put him at 2 or 5, moving Fukudome to 2, or even at 3 and move DLee and ARam down a slot...but just don't put him at 1. The Cubs don't have a very good leadoff hitter, but some combo of ReJo, TheRiot, Cedeno, and Fontenot at 1 are serviceable and far better options for the team.

I was disappointed when I read that Lou already seems to have made up his mind here. I thought that Johnson had shown enough to deserve a shot to stay at the top of the order. It seemed like these 15 days would be the perfect time to sit The Glass Ego down and explain to him that he's hurting the team with his Little-Leagueish demand to hit leadoff, but I guess not. What do you guys think?

Comments (2)


April 28, 2008 at 8:42 AM

I know Lou is probably in the middle of the pack as far as managing by the stats, but maybe he needs to take a look at the the OBP's of his team. Granted, The Glass Ego struggled out of the gate, but look at these OBP numbers:

Fukudome .444
D Lee .432
Ronny C .417
Geo Soto .415
ReJo .410
The Riot .400
ARam .397
DeRo .382

Sori .230

Right now, Ted Lilly has a higher OBP (.250). Obviously, you aren't going to move most of these guys to the leadoff spot, but I also think that you have to consider how many lost scoring opportunities you are going to have when The Glass Ego K's and then the Cubs get a runner or two on base.


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