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

Cubs' Soriano batting leadoff?

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Dale Sveum said his Cub lineup was ``anything but cut and dried'' as he prepares for the season, but Alfonso Soriano in the leadoff spot?

That's how the ``White'' squad lineup starts for Friday's intrasquad game as the Cubs' new manager has fun with the first batting orders he puts together with his new ballclub -- whether it's a sign of things to come could take all season to find out.

Sveum said Friday morning that given the fluid nature the the lineups he anticipates this season, Soriano might find his way into the leadoff spot for a regular season game for the first time since July 3, 2009.

``During the season a lot of things can come up to where, yeah, it can happen,'' Sveum said, adding that he envisions him as more of a run producer.

Sveum, who has already said he'll consider Soriano for cleanup this year, nonetheless isn't ruling out an occasional leadoff start.

``The one thing about Soriano is his numbers as a leadoff hitter are pretty good in his career,'' Sveum said. ``Whether he's leading off an inning or leading off a game, his numbers are pretty incredible over his career.

``If you want to get into details of why you might come up with something like that, it could be as simple as that. We don't have the bona fide guys at any position in the order.''

Sveum and AAA Iowa manager Dave Bialis handle the managing duties in Friday's 1 p.m. intrasquad game scheduled for five or six innings, or until the selected pitching runs out.

The ``White'' lineup:

LF Soriano
3B Ian Stewart
SS Starlin Castro
1B Bryan LaHair
CF Marlon Byrd
RF David DeJesus
C Blake Lalli
2B Darwin Barney
DH Blake DeWitt

Pitchers: LH Travis Wood, RH Andy Sonnanstine

The ``Blue'' lineup:

CF Brett Jackson
RF Matt Szczur
2B Jeff Baker
1B Anthony Rizzo
LF Reed Johnson
3B Josh Vitters
SS Junior Lake
C Michael Brenly
DH Tony Campana

Pitchers: RH Randy Wells, RH Casey Coleman

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Very intereting line-ups here. I would not really like to see Soriano leading off. I think a guy who has more speed and steals a base now and then is preferable. I can see him batting clean-up, but only if he can learn to lay off of down and curves or sliders in key situations.

I agree. The line-ups are very interesting. I am very excited to see these young players on the "blue" team grow and mature with the Cubs. Soriano did put up incredible numbers at the lead-off spot, but that was before multiple injuries he has had since his 40-40-40 season with the nationals. He belongs in the 4-5-6 part of the batting order. He still has a reasonable amount of power and he is probably the most powerful hitter in the line-up now. But we need speed in that leadoff spot. Whether it be Castro, Barney, or maybe even Dejesus, they need a more versatile player in that spot. Brett Jackson excites me the most in the up-and-coming Cubbies. If he produces in AAA, and gets some looks in the Majors, you might see the Cubs get rid of Soriano and have the outfield switched up and have the addition of Jackson this year. I am very excited. Again, we need more speed in the lead-off spot and Soriano needs to produce homeruns and RBI's this year while cutting down on all of the strike-outs.

Soriano should be batting on the bench. I am through with him and they should just play the young guys.

I do not agree that Soriano should be on the bench. He can carry a ball club on his own shoulders if he fets into one of his hot streaks and still has more power than virtually anyone else on the Cubs. Perhaps a couple of the young guys will develop into players that give the Cubs a better chance to win than Soriano does, but I have not seen that yet.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on March 2, 2012 10:09 AM.

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