As the Cubs move to make their first cuts of spring training, I'd like to show a couple of stat lines at this midway point.
Ryan Theriot aka The Riot
29AB 2DBL 1TRP 0HR 15TB 5RS 1RBI 3BB 2K 1SB 0CS 455OBP 379BA
Alfonso Soriano aka The Fonz
27AB 2DBL 0TRP 1HR 12TB 3RS 2RBI 1BB 6K 2SB 1CS 286OBP 259BA
It's a small sample I understand, but if The Riot continues with a stat line anywhere near this when camp breaks, how does he not when piggybacking these numbers on last year's, make the most sense to start at 2B and bat leadoff?
DeRosa is slow and has demonstrated the versatility to play multiple positions, a key to being an effective utility player.
Soriano has a career OBP under 330, a big negative out of the leadoff spot.
Soriano has already gone on record that he is willing to play and hit anywhere Piniella thinks he'll be the most effective. The jury is still out on his ability to handle CF, but it doesn't look like he'd have any chance to win the CF job if the Cubs didn't have a surplus of outfielders that would be beating down Piniella's door for playing time.
Yes it's a valuable asset to have a strong bench with quality players, but not at the risk of undermining the effectiveness of the lineup and weakening the defense.
Soriano batting leadoff and playing CF does both! If it means playing Jones, a proven CF'er until he's traded, and pissing off Floyd because he won't get enough AB's, who gives a shit? How in the hell can't Soriano be more productive hitting fourth than leadoff? Speed for a power hitter is just a bonus, not a criteria for hitting leadoff. Soriano's power and strikeouts dictate he hit in the middle of the order, where he would see better pitches to hit with A-Ram protecting him in the 5th. spot, than he would with a 2 hitter following him batting leadoff.
The leadoff spot belongs to a player like The Riot. He's showing he has enough speed and discipline at the plate to be a better option at leadoff than anyone else on the team, and it's not like he's replacing a gold glove, stud hitter with a huge contract at 2B.
It's a "NO BRAINER," Piniella! Get over your man crush on Soriano and do the right thing already, will ya?