Sunday, August 05, 2007
The injury that Alfonso Soriano suffered tonight looked bad. Real bad. Lou Piniella has already said that he will be out two weeks to a month. And, given how late in the season this is, it's possible that the next Soriano sighting could be in March in Mesa, Arizona. This will have major ramifications on the race for the NL Central title.
The Cubs should be a better team.
Yes, this is going to be a positive development for the Cubs.
Soriano has been causing problems for this team all year. On this team, he really should be playing right and batting 2nd or 5th in the order. Due to his weak mental makeup and lack of a smart approach to an at bat, he has to bat first and play left. Because of this limitation, the Cubs are worse in right field, employing mostly Matt Murton, Daryle Ward, Cliff Floyd. All those guys are left fielders. Soriano has the arm for right, but can't play there because it screws up his hitting. That's a sign of weakness alright.
With Soriano out, Felix Pie comes back. That improves the defense in center by eliminating Jacque Jones. Jones moves to right and will platoon with Mark DeRosa. This is at worst a push defensively compared to Floyd and Murton, and likely an improvement.
Floyd and Murton move to left which is, at least, the proper place to play them. Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot play full time at second and short, and bat 1-2. That has the potential to be something fun to watch as those two may have the best approach to batting on the team.
The last reason that Soriano's absence will help the team is that it eliminates one of the dumbest players on the team. Did you hear Bob Brenly rip Soriano the other day? He talked about how a leadoff hitter needs to give his pitcher a chance to go easy after an at bat. Brenly said most leadoff hitters will stall with the pine tar, play with their batting gloves, and give the pitcher a chance to get a few seconds to relax in the dugout. "Not Soriano," said Bob.
This guy is either unsmart or selfish or both. I'm betting on both.
The Cubs will not miss this guy. In July, he was .265/.276/.425/.701 with 3 homers, 12 RBI and 19 runs scored. To date in August, he was .294/.333/.353/.686 with 0/0/2. That's replaceable. Easily.
In fact, with the competition getting easier now, the winning should get better in a hury. The Cubs are 7-8 over their last 15 games. With Houston, Colorado, and Cincinnati on the horizon, Soriano will not be greatly missed.
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