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CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - PINIELLA STILL HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT CUB LINEUP

Jeff Ardito - Dean's Team Listing Specialist!Cub fans still have to wonder what the right formula is for this year's team offensively.  It looks as though we're not too far from last year when it was pretty evident that with the exception of a few games, Alfonso Soriano is not the same leadoff hitter he once was.  Of course, that's hard to swallow since the Cubs are paying him huge money to be a power and speed guy. 

Recent developments have manager, Lou Piniella, stating that Soriano will hit down in the lineup due to the season beginning in predominantly cold weather.  This move will alleviate the "running" part of Soriano's game to a large degree and set the Cubs with a mighty 3-4-5 part of their lineup with some combination of Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.  Although, conventional wisdom suggests that this might be the best move, as a fan, you have to wonder why it has taken so long to figure this out.

Soriano's leg injury from last year is not 100% and that is certainly a big part of this decision.  Ryan Theriot will lead off and this will be a telltale year for the Cub Shortstop.  The league will now have precise scouting reports on Theriot and he'll have to make appropriate adjustments to be successful.  The other part of this entire equation is where to bat new Cub, Kosuke Fukodome, who will man either center or right field for the Cubs. 

So, it's a new season and although second year manager, Lou Piniella, has seen most of this year's team, he has a few decisions to make that hopefully will be decisions he can stand by.  I hope we can avoid a season where Piniella has to juggle the lineup constantly.  Let's see what happens and hope the Cubs bring hot bats to cold and snowy Chicago.

JEFF ARDITO & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2008 9:53 AM by Dean's Team

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