Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Soriano Back in the Lineup Tomorrow

Alfonso Soriano will be back in the leadoff spot for the Cubs tomorrow. My first thought was "The Cubs are playing so well. Why would they put him in the leadoff spot? Why not farther down?"

Then I looked at the box scores and realized that since Soriano went on the DL, Cubs leadoff hitters -- Reed Johnson, Mike Fontenot, and Eric Patterson -- have a combined on base percentage of .209 when batting first. This is amazing in light of how good the Cubs have been in this department overall (as Neyer noted yesterday, they are second in OBP in the NL).

But does that really dictate putting Soriano back in the leadoff position? How about Mark DeRosa (.393) or Ryan Theroit (.390 -- yes, I know that won't hold up, but why not ride it while it lasts?) or, hell, even Fukudome (.434)? Actually, Fukudome leading off and Soriano in the five hole seems like the best bet.

No real point here. Just looking for something to complain about to make the afternoon go by more quickly.


Paul Thomas said...

Fukudome is, for people willing to put aside the ridiculous conceit that speed is uniquely valuable for leadoff hitters, the perfect guy. He sees a ton of pitches and walks a lot, and he's dangerous when he makes contact.

Soriano is approximately the worst leadoff hitter that one could possibly conceive of, given how much more valuable he would be hitting 5th or 6th (where his high slugging, low OBP would actually drive someone other than himself in).

Kelly said...

Agreed 100% with the above comment.

Homeruns from the leadoff spot are cute and everything but they'd be gorgeous from the 5 hole with one or two guys on.