Alfonso Soriano Breaks Hand

UPDATE 6.12 @ 7:35 AM: The Cubs will in fact be recalling Micah Hoffpauir from Iowa today. And, smartly, they'll be dropping the 13th pitcher in favor of another hitter, probably tomorrow, heading in to the interleague play that will take us nearly through the end of the month (series @ TOR and TAM, then home vs. the Chi Sox and BAL, then at the Cell against the SOX). This article suggests the Cubs may be adding either Eric Patterson or Matt Murton to the lineup. EPat is hitting .326 with a .875 OPS and 5 HRs for Iowa this year. The Big Murt is hacking away at a clip of .311 with an OPS of .811, but only 1 HR in a comparable number of ABs to Patterson.

If the Cubs don't recall Murton here, though, someone is going to have to remind me why the hell we're keeping this guy in the organization. Murton is, in essence, a AAAA player or a 4th OFer on this team. He's also basically our backup LF. He would be the starting LF on a number of MLB clubs. If he could play CF at all, he would have been on the Cubs all year. Now our starting LF goes down-and there's a shot that we're NOT going to use him in LF? Instead there's a chance we'll recall another 2B in Patterson, move our current 2B to LF, and then roll with Fontenot, Cedeno, and Patterson at 2B?

Do the right thing here Hendry-let's give Murton the shot he has earned.

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"Minimally displaced fracture of the metacarpal of his left ring finger." What the hell does that mean? It means that Cubs All-Star LFer, Alfonso "The Glass Ego" Soriano, will be out of the lineup for the next six...count 'em six...weeks with a broken hand. Soriano could well be out in to August. Ouch.

In the 2nd inning of tonight's brilliant complete game by Ryan Dempster, Soriano got drilled on the left hand by a Jeff Bennett pitch. Video of the pitch and resulting injury is available here. Doesn't look good, folks. X rays taken at Northwestern Memorial hospital have revealed the fracture just under the fourth finger on Sori's left hand.

Early word is that Micah Hoffpauir will take Sori's place on the roster tomorrow (now that his 10 required days in the minors after being sent down are up). This move was expected to be coming anyway, though, with Daryl Ward not yet healthy and the inter-league series coming up. Looks like Lou will stick with 13 pitchers for a bit longer afterall.

With the injury, we can expect to see a lot more of Mark DeRosa in LF and, possibly, Micah Hoffpauir as well. Hoffpauir's bat could replace some of the lost pop that went down with Sori. With DeRosa likely shifting to OF, we'll also be seeing more of Lil Mikey Fontenot and probably Ronny Cedeno at 2B. And expect the "who will/should hit leadoff" debate to come back to the forefront.

I know we here at TD have had some gripes with Soriano this season, but it's hard to argue that we're not going to miss him over the next six weeks. We survived, and thrived, without Sori earlier this year. Let's hope the Cubs can step up and keep this amazing streak of baseball going even with the star on the bench. The race for NL's best record and the incredibly valuable home field advantage in the playoffs aren't going to wait.

More on this as the story develops.

Comment (1)

Lionel

June 12, 2008 at 9:26 AM

We could start calling Sori "The Glass Hand," but anyone who heard that ball hit Soriano last night would've told you that it was broken. His loss will definitely be felt; his HR's and the fact that he's finally shown some speed on the basepaths are a big loss. I also think he probably won't have the power back this year. But let's look at the silver lining here. This time will allow him to fully heal his legs. When he comes back, that part of his game will be better. Also, it broke his left hand, which means that he'll still be able to throw. Finally, the only position player on the team with a lower OBP than Sori is Jim Edmonds. Maybe those things aren't huge, but I'm trying to paint a better picture here.

I will state that on behalf of the entire TD staff, we aren't mathematicians, so you'll have to excuse Jumbo's comment that Hoffpauir has been in AAA for 10 days. It's actually only been 9 days, making him ineligible to return until tomorrow. However, the rules state that if an injury occurs, a player can be recalled before his 10 days are up. The Cubs will presumably utilize that rule to recall Hoffpauir today.

I agree with Jumbo that the Big Murt should be the man added to the bench when the Cubs go all interleague tomorrow. But, I think that should come with a caveat. If the Cubs are going to bring him up, he needs to be starting the majority of the games. It's not that I think he adds so much to the club, but rather, he adds almost nothing to the bench. Yes, he can hit .300. But he K's a lot, the Thunder Matt nickname is a joke at this point, and he is a liability in the field and on the basepaths. If you stick him in the lineup on a regular basis, he'll get you some hits. The ideal situation here is to get Hoffpauir (who desparately needs a nickname) in as a DH and play Murton in left. You can still rotate DeRo and ReJo in there, to get ReJo, lil Mikey and Ronny C some AB's. But if Lou plans on using a Hoffpauir/ReJo/DeRo platoon in left, you might as well bring up E-Pat. At least he adds some speed and versatility to the bench.

Finally, I don't know that there is much of a leadoff controversy. The Riot should be leading off. Period. He's hitting .322 with a .400 OBP. He's second in the NL in singles. He's stolen 12 bags. Lou isn't going to move Kosuke, as he seems to have found a comfortable spot in the lineup and especially after his big HR last night. The only other options are the backups/platooners, ReJo, lil Mikey, and Ronny C.