What's poor Piniella to do? After last season's college of coaches experiment with the lineup, Uncle Lou has pledged to have a more set lineup and rest his star players more frequently to keep them fresh for the stretch run.
If this is true, let's see who on the present roster would be a productive replacement and how the everyday lineup should be set to provide the most production.
First let's look at our likely everyday lineup.
There is no getting around the fact that if Pie and Theriot don't improve, when considering the pitcher's spot, the Cubs have three easy outs. That is at least one to many, no matter how you rearrange the lineup.
If this is a correct assessment, it shows Hendry does not understand the need to make use of the window of opportunity for the Cubs to win now and make a trade for a legitimate leadoff hitter.
The absence of addressing this issue is what will derail any legitimate hopes of the Cubs advancing deep into the playoffs.
It's no surprise that powerhouse teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, produce runs by the boatload because they lead the league most years in walks, not HR's.
Piniella's hands are going to be tied with his present options and Hendry must do whatever it takes to address the team's piss poor lack of OBP, especially at the top of the order. Piniella needs to have the two best OBP hitters in the lineup hitting 1 and 2 period.
With the present lineup, that would mean hitting Fukudome in the leadoff spot and D. Lee second. Even then, the weak bottom third of the order with Theriot, Pie and the pitcher, would suck major donkey dick.
If a key addition is not made, what bench players are going to make a difference without weakening the defense as well?
Ward can replace Lee, Fukudome or Soriano to give them a day off here and there and most certainly should be used more frequently than last year, but that move doesn't improve the team offensively or defensively.
DeRosa likewise can replace A-Ram and Theriot, but that even further weakens the offense and defense.
The key is for the Hendry to add a legitimate leadoff hitter. Much has been made about Hendry paying to high a price for Roberts, but could he possibly pay more for Roberts than he did for Pierre?
It's time, way overdue in my opinion, for Hendry to ship up or shape out.