Just a follow-up on my impressions of the ridiculous contract the Chicago Cubs gave to Alfonso Soriano.
Playing half his games in tiny Wrigley Field, here is what Alfonso Soriano’s season will look like if he continues at his present pace:
16 HR, 36 RBI, 100 Runs, 152 Strike outs, 195 hits, 70 doubles, 8 triples, 28 Stolen bases, 4 caught stealing, 12 picked off base (not to mention being thrown out at bases). He will make about 430 outs of a team total of about 3280, or 13%, which is 1/8.
Projected salary: $17,000,000; biggest contract in club history. He’s going to be hurt more as he gets older, not to mention the fact that his age indicates his production will drop, regardless of injuries.
.288 BA, 5th on the Cubs.
.472 Slugging, 4th on the Cubs
.345 On base, 8th on the Cubs
48 walks, 6th on the Cubs
Plays left field, a non-skill position, after being clearly inadequate in center. He can throw out the adventuresome baserunner.
It is my strong impression that Soriano continues in his inability to hit good pitching and his inability to hit with runners on base. He hurts the Cubs virtually every game when he hits in the top half of the batting order, not to mention his base-running blunders and his awkward, no-hustle fielding, and he isn’t much of a team player, either. The Cubs have a won-lost record which is much worse than would be expected from the number of runs they have scored and allowed. This generally means that a team wins slugfests and loses close games. Alfonso Soriano is the kind of player who contributes to that tendency.
He just isn’t as good as the average Cub player. The only reason he has as many runs as he does is that Derek Lee is having a career season and Aramis Ramirez is a very productive cleanup hitter. Soriano’s troubles are no all his own fault, but it ridiculous that Soriano continues to be placed first or second in the lineup, and make where he makes enormous numbers of outs, leaving the bases empty for Lee and Ramirez.
The Cubs may not be a championship team, but they could certainly be over .500. Pinella did move Soriano to left field, a positive step, but if Pinella doesn’t get him down in the batting order, he deserves to be fired.