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

Old friends; new places

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Big day in Mesa for Cubs and ex-Cubs tomorrow, with the San Diego Padres coming in for a home exhibition game. Don't expect to see new Padre hopeful Mark Prior on the trip, but Michael Barrett said he plans to be there for the first game the teams play since he was traded last June after a rough month of baseball that included an especially rough afternoon with Big Z.

Speaking of Cubs in new places, look for Kosuke Fukudome to move to the No. 5 spot in the order against the Padres for the first time this spring, and unless he gets the day off, Alfonso Soriano will slide out of the leadoff spot, to No. 2, in what could be the significant lineup change of the season.

Piniella says it's possible he might even toy with Soriano somewhere else in the lineup but for now wants to see what he can do in the 2 spot. And, no, he doesn't plan to ask him to bunt.

Looks like a good move from here -- especially if/when the Cubs get Brian Roberts to plug into the leadoff spot.

Is it good enough to make a difference in the NL pennant race?

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Seems like leadoff man, Lee, Soriano, Ramirez, Fukodome would make more sense, given Lee's signficantly higher on base percentage and bat control.

This just proves what a wuss (I would use a stronger word but I don't want to be sensored) Prior is. He takes a huge rookie contract from them, proceeds to lose one of the biggest games in Cubs history (with the help of Bartman and Gonzalez), steals $4mil from them last year to rehab before moving on and doesn't have the guts to show up. Let's see Wood has had a couple fairly major surgeries and is back while Prior had arthroscopic and he is out for a year and a half.

Mark DeRosa had an excellent on base percentage last year and would be an prototypical #2 hitter. Lou could hit Soriano cleanup. He has plenty of power(probably most on the team) and has the speed which would keep him from grounding into double plays and killing innings. Ramirez would be an excellent #5 hitter, and Fukudome could drop to the 6 spot. Roberts, DeRosa(SS), Lee, Soriano, Ramirez, Fukudome, Soto, Pie. The only draw back is it puts Fukudome's on base percentage lower in the lineup, but could help to turn the lineup over. Nice problem to have though.

What are u guys smoking?? Lee will not leadoff, ever!! Roberts is coming, he will leadoff, Lee is a 3 or 4 hitter, or even a 2 on some days, and Soriano is not a 2 hitter, Pinella will not hit Soriano 2nd in the regular season!!

From Baltimore ---

Brian Roberts is one of the best, most likeable players in the Majors. He gets on first (or second) and procedes to drive pitchers crazy. We love him! If we had a Ceda, Gallagher, Patterson, Veal and Marquis(another Trachsel but can help the O's eat up innings) for Roberts and Payton(a solid major league OF who's a little old for the Baby Birds)trade on the table we should both grab it. You will have every chance at the Pennant (yes, Roberts will make that big of difference) and the Baby Birds will have added four youngsters of whom one or two may blossom. We will all be rooting for you when Roberts is facing Bedard in the World Series!

I know that Derek Lee is a superstar and all that, but after his injury last year he went in the tank with his HR ability and it looks to me he still hasn't recovered and as I'm handicapping the cubs, I'm afraid Lee may have permanent physical and confidence damage. A superstar with a head case. I'm very worried... Faaassst EDDie

Why do you clowns keep putting Roberts in the same line-up with DeRosa? DeRosa cannot play regular starting shortstop.
If Roberts comes, DeRosa will lose his starting second base position and become a utility man everywhere else Lou can fit him unless they trade him (which I doubt Lou wants).

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on March 12, 2008 4:06 PM.

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