Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Doing the Lou Lineup Shuffle

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As promised, Cubs manager Lou Piniella took 1-for-7 right fielder Kosuke Fukudome out of the third spot in the order today, moving him to No. 2 and putting Derrek Lee back in the three hole.

The idea is to put the Japanese free agent in a more comfortable spot as he continues to adjust to unfamiliar American pitching, and he might move him again before settling on a spot for him.

``But believe me,’’ Piniella said, ``we’re not going to play around with it for too long. As soon as we get people healthy and put it together, we can come up with a determination pretty quick.’’

If Fukudome winds up batting second, that means a move to the No. 8 spot for Ryan Theriot.

Other camp notes this morning:

--Second baseman Mike Fontenot, who’s trying to win a utility infield job, is in today’s lineup as the shortstop – where he looked over his head in a brief try there last summer. But Piniella says he likes Fontenot’s bat and wants to give him a chance to make the club, which means he has to play more than one position. ``We better find out [whether he can play other spots],’’ Piniella said. ``It’s hard for a player competing for a spot on a roster if he can only play one infield position. So we’re going to see if he can play some short and maybe a little third.’’

--After a series of base-running gaffes the past two days, the Cubs went back to Little League instruction this morning and worked on situational base running, notably making the right decision on when to run from second to third based on where a ground ball is hit. ``You’ve just got to concentrate a little more,’’ Piniella said. That’s one way of saying it.

--Piniella raised the issue of depth concerns among the position players again this morning, but wouldn’t say whether he expected the club to add a player by the end of camp – as many others do – and said he hadn’t seen any of the crap-against-the-wall internet reports claiming talks between the Orioles and Cubs are back on. ``The only thing I do on the internet is trade stocks once in a while,’’ Piniella said. ``I don’t trade infielders. …And I certainly don’t read sports.’’

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7 Comments

If Lou can't figure the lineup out, we're doomed. Having Soriano first is bad enough--he absolutely stinks as a leadoff man--but putting Kosuke second after him makes matters worse still. It's not that I don't like him, but just that he's an unknown, so to have an unknown as the real leadoff hitter behind the fake one, Soriano, means that we're likely not to have the table set for Lee and Ramirez properly. I actually like Kosuke second, but if he's behind Soriano that creates huge breakdowns all throughout the lineup. Theriot needs to leadoff, given our current roster, in order for everything to run smoothly. He even said he doesn't care where he bats as long as it helps the team produce runs. Do you think Soriano has this team-oriented approach in mind? If he bats first with Kosuke second, then DeRosa becomes the five hitter, somehow, and this is awful: he doesn't drive the ball and hits into lots of double plays, just the kind of hitter you don't want fifth. He'll kill rallies. I like DeRo a lot, but he's a six hitter at best, and probably more of a seven, because Soto's got the kind of power that makes a nice five (if we're playing out this farce of a top of the order). To have Theriot eighth wastes his run generating ability on the pitcher spot and then Soriano, who's not a run producer. This idea of Lou's creates a domino effect that destroys our entire season. Theriot, Fuku, Lee, Rammy, Sori, Soto, DeRo, Pie, Z--that's our best chance without Roberts.

FIRST OF ALL MY FELLOW CUBS FANS THIS WILL BE THE EVERYDAY LINEUP FOR OPENING DAY.
1. B.ROBERTS
2. R.THERIOT
3. A.SORIANO
4. D.LEE
5. A.RAMIREZ
6. K.FOKUDOME
7. F.PIE
8. G.SOTO
NOW THATS A VERY BADASS LINEUP THATLL TAKE ANY TEAM TO ITS LIMITS

It's spring training, for crying out loud! The manager is SUPPOSED to try different lineups to judge how his players will perform, BEFORE the games count! I'm glad he's the manager instead of some of the wanna-be ESPN color guys who analyze everything to the Nth degree, and usually incorrectly!

Trade Lee for Roberts. DeRo becomes Mr. Utility in spot starts at different positions.

Line up:

Roberts
Theriot
Hoffpauir
Ramirez
FUDummy
Soriano
Pie
Pitcher

Bearsfansteve - Congratulations on the dumbest post in Cub history. Batting Soriano seventh? Yeah, he should only get three at bats a game and only after all the other players get a chance to drive in any baserunners.

Good Point. Switch Theriot with Soriano? And at least we now know what the capital "A" in Jim's name stands for.

Come on people...are you kidding me? The best lineup should be:
2B Roberts (50 stolen bases)
CF Fukudome (.375 - .400 OBP, hopefully translates)
LF Soriano (40 HR's, .290 avg, 120 RBI's - if stays healthy)
3B Ramirez (gets soriano good pitches to hit)
1B Lee (decreasing power, but high batting average will clear the bases if they pitch around Ramirez)
RF Hoffpauir (lefty with pop protecting Lee)
C Soto
SS Theriot

Now please tell me that isn't the best line-up. If other teams were smart, they would bring in a lefty to pitch to the middle three in our order, late in the game...they can't hit lefties.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on March 4, 2008 12:44 PM.

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