Sunday, February 24, 2008

Line 'Em Up

Lou Piniella decided think out loud down in Arizona yesterday with this mental exercise:

"I've been thinking about our lineup and what makes sense and what we can try," Piniella said after the Cubs finished working out on a cool, dreary day. "But let me warn: It's only Feb. 22 or 23, so there's plenty of time to adjust this thing.

"But I've been thinking of bunching up some speed at the top part of the lineup with Soriano, Theriot and Fukudome, and then move Derrek to the fourth spot, Ramirez to the fifth spot. We'd hit (Mark) DeRosa sixth, (Geovany) Soto seventh and our center fielder eighth. It's just food for thought."

This is actually a lineup that makes a lot of sense, especially if one viewed this:

1. Soriano
2. Theriot
3. Fukudome
4. Lee
5. Ramirez
6. DeRosa
7. Soto
8. CF
9. Pitcher

like this:

1. Theriot
2. Fukudome
3. Lee
4. Ramirez
5. DeRosa
6. Soto
7. CF
8. Pitcher
9. Soriano

After the first at bat of the game, that's how the lineup plays out. And that's pretty close to a lineup that's been suggested by many people. Well, they don't have Soriano ninth, but the smart ones don't have Soriano leading off, either.

What Lou has basically put together in his scenario is a very logical lineup that makes an exception for the mental weakness that is Alfonso Soriano's inability to hit effectively anywhere else in the lineup other than leadoff.

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