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

Soriano off Sunday against nemesis Wandy Rodriguez

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Alfonso Soriano had Sunday off despite Houston starting lefty Wandy Rodriguez.
``It's a little breather with the hot weather we've had and how hot it will be in Atlanta [the next four-game series],'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``And he doesn't like Wandy too much. He wasn't fighting me much [about the day off.]''
Soriano has hit only .105 (4-for-38) against Rodriguez.
Sveum's lineup had Reed Johnson in center field, Jeff Baker in right and Joe Mather in left. The only left-handed hitters were Anthony Rizzo at first and Luis Valbuena at third. Left-hander Travis Wood was to start for the Cubs.

Rizzo's bat gets the attention, but his defense is above average and another plus for the team.
``He's the prototypical left-handed first baseman,'' Sveum said. ``It's the one position on the field really made for lefties for a lot of reasons.''
Rizzo showed range on Saturday in fielding a grounder in the third inning and throwing home to retire Astros second baseman Scott Moore trying to score from third.
``My go-to place is fielding,'' Rizzo said. ``It's something I pride myself on, to play well [defensively] all the time.'

Second round pick Duane Underwood, a pitcher from Pope High School in Marietta, GA, threw in the bullpen Sunday as president Theo Epstein and scouting director Jason McLeod watched.
Negotiations are continuing to sign first round pick Albert Almora, a high school outfielder from Florida, before the July 13 deadline.

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on July 1, 2012 11:23 AM.

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