News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

July 21, 2007

Given to Fly: Piniella has it right; Soriano should stay at top of order

TERRE HAUTE — Manager Lou Piniella recently experimented with moving Chicago Cubs hitter Alfonso Soriano down to fifth in the lineup, hoping to spark his team’s struggles to produce against left-handed pitching.

Soriano went 0-for-8 with three strikeouts. By the way, his career numbers are basically the same against right-handed and left-handed pitching — .283 against right-handers and .279 against left-handers.

Not a fan of the results, Piniella said the experiment is finished.

“We tried it,” Piniella said in Friday’s Chicago-Sun Times. “But I’m going to leave Soriano in the one hole. That’s where the young man belongs.”

As soon as the Cubs signed Soriano, critics have popped up trying to move Soriano into the middle of the Cubs order because of his home-run power.

Soriano has hit in the lead-off spot in 2,591 of his 4,622 career plate appearances, and the 31-year-old should stay there.

While Ryan Theriot — the Cubs shortstop for the next 10 years and potentially the lead-off man in a few years — is on pace to steal more than 30 bases and can be a spark at the top of the lineup, Soriano is more comfortable leading off. As the cliché goes, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Easily the best player on the Washington Nationals last season, Soriano was moved from lead-off to third for 18 games during the 2006 season. The results: a .152 average (11-for-72) with four of his hits being home runs.

The Texas Rangers were more adventuresome with the Cubs’ left fielder, batting him in the three hole in 115 games during the 2004 season. Soriano hit 22 homers and collected 77 RBIs, while hitting .328 (148-450). With 200 more at-bats at that pace in the three spot, Soriano would have reached 32 homers and 112 RBIs. Those are obviously good RBI numbers but they could be better with his ability.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Given to Fly
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Today in History for August 1st Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010