Piniella to start making some moves that are in the long term interest of the Cubs. The club is 7-11 and that's not a winner anywhere but at the craps tables.
I've been saying this forever, but Piniella has to start looking at the long term ramifications of his lineup, even if Hendry didn't. It's early in the season, but it is becoming more apparent day in and day out, that the vaunted offensive Juggernaut is not all it's cracked up to be. The best offensive performers so far are Lee and Ramirez, and they were here last year. The problem, as it's always been, is having anybody on base in front of them.
Piniella has to forget this fantasy that Soriano is a lead off man and put him down in the order where he can do some real damage. Soriano's speed is just an extra asset to his game, not the key part of it.
The Riot has more than enough speed to lead off, not to mention a decent OBP and keen eye at the plate.
What the Cubs need in their lineup is more speed and better defense. Why? Because speed and defense never go in a slump.
With Soriano in the 5 hole in the lineup, imagine the fear the Cubs would strike in opposing pitchers hearts. The Riot and Murton at the top of the order puts the two highest OBP hitters in the lineup where they belong, in front of the Mashers.
The three kids, Murton, Pie and The Riot, have to be given an opportunity to play most everyday, regardless who's kicking and screaming for playing time. It's not like the team is going gangbusters with the veterans anyway.
Let the kids play their way out of a starting job. They just have to much potential to sit around and platoon. You already know what kind of player Jones, Floyd and DeRosa are. They all have some power it's true, but have horrible OBP's and are suspect at best defensively. An MO like that screams bench player, bench player, bench player.
Murton can play defensively on a par with Jones, Floyd and DeRosa. The Riot plays as good as defense as DeRosa and more importantly, because of his speed and OBP is more suited as a lead off man and allows for Soriano to move down in the order. Pie's defense alone, no matter what he hits, anchors a stinko of an outfield without him. I for the life of me can't figure out why it's ok to not worry about Izturis hitting but Cubs management gets their underwear all bunched up about Pie's. Who has a future with this team, Izturis or Pie. Case closed.
Piniella has to find out what these kids can do on an everyday basis as it's become quite apparent, the status quo isn't getting the job done.