Which Cub is off to the most disappointing start?
Michael Barrett (.192 BA) (218 responses)
Scott Eyre (15.00 ERA) (468 responses)
Bobby Howry (0-2, 7.36 ERA) (929 responses)
Alfonso Soriano (.200 BA) (3292 responses)
4907 total responses
The heat is on in Chicago. The finger pointing has begun. Lou Pinella has started in on the weather and the pitching staff. The GM is pointing at the scouts. Referring to Alfonso Soriano and other free agent signings:
Our scouts did a really good job in August and September, seeing everybody play who we were going to pursue,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “We executed a pretty good plan in the off-season, and I’m happy with all of them. You’re not going to have everybody hitting at the same time.”
The Cubs problem is simple: they don’t have very many good players. Basically, only three or four players on their team are above average. They thought Alfonso Soriano was a great player. He’s not even an average player.
In terms of winning baseball games, there is one and only one way that Soriano helps the team: he gets more extra base hits than most players, basically doubles and home runs. That is ALL he does to help the team. The rest of his game hurts the team: he fields like Manny Ramirez; he never walks, he strikes out a lot, he doesn’t hit good pitching, he has a low batting average, he doesn’t hit in the clutch, he gets thrown out too much when he tries to steal, he gets picked off base, and he thinks he is god’s gift to baseball.
Manny Ramirez is SUCH a GREAT HITTER that you can just forget about his fielding; put him in left field and just tell him to chase the ball. Or you can use him as a DH. Soriano is really not even a GOOD hitter. And there is no DH in the National League.
So when you bat him leadoff and put him in centerfield, two of the key assignments, you just watch him, every inning, at bat and in the field, fail to do the things that even average players do to win games, in the vain hope that the one (bases empty) home run he will hit every four games, will somehow make up for the fact that he has no game.
Hendry is gonna have to come to grips with the Soriano fiasco pretty soon. Certainly Lou Pinella knows too much baseball to continue for much longer with what they’re doing. Soriano has more “picked off base” (2) than RBIs (0). Better to make an adjustment than to just outright bench Alfonso: drop him down to fifth in the lineup, let him get some RBIs, and take the heat off. Then move him to left field. It may be ugly, but Pinella’s gonna get fired if he doesn’t do something to get the Cubs winning.