Soriano at 2B?

The Cubs don’t have many backup options at third base with Aramis Ramirez out for four to six weeks because of a dislocated shoulder.

“The only other option we would have — and you all are going to like this one — is move [Alfonso] Soriano to second and [Micah] Hoffpauir to left,” Lou Piniella said. “Hopefully, it doesn’t get to that. That, again, is a measure of last resort.”

What has to happen for the Cubs to do that?

“We’ll explore all our other options [first],” Piniella said. “I feel very comfortable with our outfield with Soriano in left field. I want to get Hoffpauir in the lineup, I want to give everybody else the opportunity to swing the bats the way they’re capable. I’ve talked about it with Alan [Trammell]. I would think it’s a very remote possibility, but we’ll see.”

Has he talked about it with Soriano?

“Very briefly, in a passing nature,” Piniella said. “We haven’t had a prolonged conversation about it.”

Soriano didn’t laugh when Piniella discussed it. He did play second for six years.

“Let’s just keep that in the back of our heads, nothing more, nothing less,” Piniella said. “Maybe that was a 3:30 in the morning thought last night.”

— Carrie Muskat



Humm….how can the Cubs get Hoff in the game???? Oh wait heres a idea!!! Start the guy at first!!! I dont care if lee is starting to hit. Hoff has been a game changer so far this year. I can only think of one hit that Lee has had that changed the game. One!!! Lou please stop running Lee out there. Sori needs to stay in Left. Put Hoff at 1st base!!! Try it. I can’t be any worse than the team that has gone out there the last 3 days.

Sori isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball right now either! Put Hoff at 1B.. Lee is done… washed up.. toast… a lazy fly ball or ground out to the left side. Bobby Scales might out homer him this year!

I can’t even comment!!!! I’m still upset at the Cubs trading away De Rosa.. who could play 7 of 9 positions!!! Definitely an asset….when I read how the Tribe is so elated about his flexibility…it makes me sick!!!!! What was J. Henry thinking!!! I know I should get over it…..but when the subject comes up about who to put where…I don’t even want to listen…..

I can’t even comment!!!! I’m still upset at the Cubs trading away De Rosa.. who could play 7 of 9 positions!!! Definitely an asset….when I read how the Tribe is so elated about his flexibility…it makes me sick!!!!! What was J. Henry thinking!!! I know I should get over it…..but when the subject comes up about who to put where…I don’t even want to listen…..

I heard Lou’s comment, that’s it’s a “last resort.” I simply don’t understand this. His job is to first and only to win ballgames by putting on the field the best possible team. Is he afraid of hurting Fontenot’s or Soto’s or someone else’s feelings?

They’re not winning now, and they need to. Do the math, Lou.

I’m starting to get concerned that Lou is starting to manage like Hendry is general managing…ineptly. I had a lot of confidence in Lou when it came to playing the productive, deserving players that gave the team the best chance of winning, now I am starting to have my doubts. If he and all the Lee fans think that our best chance of winning a game is having Lee’s aging bat and great defense at first and BATTING CLEANUP instead of Hoffpauir’s hot, left handed bat and average defense (at least, if not better) then they are all drinking from the same bottle of Hendry Koolade.
The same Koolade Hendry must have been drinking when letting DeRosa, Marquis, Blanco, Wood, Weurtz and Vizcaino go, playing yo-yo with Samarjdza and signing Bradley instead of Ibanez. I think if Lou puts Soriano at second base it would be the beginning of the end for Hendry and his tenure with the Cubs. Lou should not have been put in this position in the first place. Hendry should have ADDED a couple of players to last years team (Ibanez for one) which included DeRosa and not have SUBSTITUED for DeRosa using the lame excuse of “building the farm system by trading talent to get talent” NOT ON THE VERGE OF MAKING THE WORLD SERIES JIM. Who does what he does, hands out too much money for too long of a contract to the wrong players…and keeps his job?

This reminded me of a playoff game with Soriano going 0 for the series and striking out multiple times. Better get used to it, because against the top pitchers and in big series this is what Soriano does. I would love to know what his avg and homeruns are against opponents number 1 and 2 pitchers versus the 4 and 5 pitchers. Anywhere but leadoff is where he should be batting.

dek111, not only will we have to get used to it for the remainder of this year but for the NEXT FIVE YEARS and watch him get older, slower and even less productive all because Hendry HAD TO HAVE HIS “BIG NAME” PLAYER 3 years ago when he thought that’s what was needed to get in and win the World Series. I’ve mentioned this before, year after year Hendry gets “the one piece” that he thinks he needs and doesn’t worry about the previous “piece” he acquired the year before being less productive. Plus this year he unloads the “one piece” that he actually did a good
(yet rare) job in getting…DeRosa. Soriano followed by Fukodome followed by Bradley..this can only end with Hendry’s firing. Bradley is not known for his defense, he is known for his injury history, so what made him more desirable than Ibanez? What makes him more productive than Hoffpauir? More money mis-spent by Hendry.
Wouldn’t the money paid to Bradley be better spent on the pitching staff and we could have “gotten by” with Hoffpauir in right field? I know he is better suited to play first but Lee evidently is doing something that only Hendry and Lou deem worthy of a starting job so it may not happen. And if Hoffpauir does start at first for a week or so, I woudl be concerned it would be for showcasing him in yet another Hendry disastrous trade. Even if the 3 prospects are doing very well in the minors (which they are) Hendry has made a statement that dumping salary and replenishing the farm system trumps the chance of post season play. I wouldn’t mind that at all if he would just make up his mind and commit to one way or another. Go yound and develop for five years instead of throwing darts at free agents past their prime.

Bottom line….this team stinks… to bottom. They got SD and Pit coming up and they will be lucky to win three games. I can’t wait for this sorry bunch of guys to come home so the fans can let Jim know what kind of crap he has put on the field. Jims only hope is somehow this team turns around and even then I think he is on his last stand.

Jim Hendry, G.M. (Generally Misguided)

I would like to see what Jim does this year. I think we are all in agreement that these current guys will not get it done. I am wondering who Jim picks up and who he gives away. My top three to go are D-Lee, Miles(cant stand the guy at all, he is awful), Cotts. At least 2 of the 3 need to go.

I am in full agreement about just going ahead and starting Micah. It seems obvious that Lou is reluctant to bench the big money players. If they are not producing, then they need to be benched. Its about WINS, not egos!

Unless….Lou is intentionally showcasing the under performing, overpaid prima donnas that Hendry gave him in order to expose the inept GM for what he is???? Yes!!! That must be it, then Lou can take over as a competant GM
and Rino can be field manager…Viola! (not Frank). Oh, but I must be dreaming, the sad fact is we deserving Cubs fans are stuck with BOTH the underachieiving players AND the underacheiving GM. This should not be tolerated for such a high profile team with a big payroll budget.

and yet another ignorant post by Carrie. NO way is Hoff playing left. If they do anything, they would put Bradley in left and put Hoff in right because they don’t think Hoff is a good outfielder.

Well, I don’t think Hendry has done a bad job. The cubs did finish in first place and win more than 90 games. I just don’t like that fact that Soriano is leading off. He shouldn’t be there. Lead off homeruns are a waste. Bat him eight for awhile so he can appreciate batting higher in the order and will stop insisting on batting lead off.

I respect people’s opinion of Hendry doing a good job based on the previous two winning seasons but disagree he had much to do with those winning seasons other than hiring Pinella, that being a wise choice because it is Pinella I give the majority of credit to for those winning seasons despite the holes left un-filled by Hendry. Is any team the least bit intimadated by the Cubs current lineup? No. Even with Ramirez in the line up and 100% healthy only he poses a CONSISTANT threat to produce some runs. There is nobody in this lineup an oppsing pitcher must “pitch around”
or be careful with. Lee is a warning track fly ball hitter, Soriano is still as undiciplined at the plate as he ever was, so much so he is reminiscent of Sosa lunging at breaking balls in the dirt, Bradley has yet to prove he will repeat last years numbers in this NATIONAL LEAGUE where playing the field will affect his plate production and health, Fukodome is not the offensive run producer Hendy must have thought he was and is still leaving the batter’s box on most swings, NOBODY is picking up for the absence of Ramirez (DeRosa…the blunder move of the year by all GMs and a lot of people know it), Soto is still just a young player and to rely on him repeating his rookie of the year season with such confidence is just foolish as was not signing Blanco who was instrumental in Soto’s developement, Theriot is a very good player but does not offer much production and to think Fontenot WOULD COME CLOSE to DeRosa’s production was insane. For DeRosa we received three promising young pitchers with very good eras, they are still in the minors not contributing to THIS YEARS RUN AT THE WORLD SERIES and if I’m not mistaken that was the idea…to FINALLY GET THERE THIS YEAR. I’m sorry to disagree with anybody who thinks Hendry is doing a good job but the credit still goes to Lou for figuring out how to play too many American league type “superstars” (Soriano, Bradley) that Hendry acquired and at the same time deal with players past their prime (Freel, Lee, Soriano, Gregg, Miles). I think Lee would have to hit .350 or higher, hit 25 more home runs, drive in 85 more runs the rest of the year to equal a very good year, same or more for Bradley. Hendry dropped the ball a little bit last year by not adding a left handed run producer at the trade deadline, not the most criminal offense but this year…he dropped the ball and kicked to hell at the same time. All us Cubs fans need to see now is the Brewers trade for DeRosa to replace Weeks and trade for Peavy to put the nail in our coffin.
Thanks Jim, it’s only May and you sucked the life out of this team like a rabid vampire. Go run a little league team somewhere.

I think joeydafish hits it right on the screws, and it’s the fans that once again are getting it that way!

I have two additional comments, which I personally think also apply.

1) Soto needs far more work than anyone released with the ability to hit a pitch that has movement. It’s a serious disability for which a solution has not yet been found. I would scour the markets for a catcher, move Coyie Hill into the starting role, and send Soto down to triple-A to get this worked out once and for all…if it can be!

2) Lou Pinella is as over the hill as his American League super stars. It’s time for him to move on. You pose the question if there are any teams that fear the Cubs rotation, players who they’d pitched around, etc. I’d throw in are there any who fear Lou Pinella as a creative, fearless, manager that will do anything to win at any time? That would mean creative running on the basepaths, more use of the bunt for offensive advantage moving players along. It would also mean holding extensive extra workouts that feature work on the basics of throwing to cutoff men, situational reaction, etc.

In short, I believe Lou is slow on the uptake as evidenced by some of the comments he makes routinely about now having a answer, a clue, about how to deal with all of this. If a manager has to consult with his assistants on everything, what does it say about his ability to act autonomously. He’s, well, over the hill himself.

Hendry? Great at working deals. Lousy as sizing up talent in a ballplayer.

The team was better in almost every way last year.


Trade Derek Lee. This a perfect time to move Lee, who is not hitting well since his wrist injury. If the Cubs could trade him for prospects and lose most of his salary, it frees money up for Peavey. No questions: Jake Fox and Hoffapuir, will add 10 times more power in the line-up.

If Lee stays a Cub this season, we do not make the playoffs, not even the wild card.

45cubfan45, you got me thinking about Lou being tired as well as frustrated and it may be time for him to move on, although if I had a choice I would choose Hendry to move on and take my chances with Lou bouncing back with a revamped roster under a new GM. But honestly after reading comments like the following (quoted from today’s Tribune “Cubs Bits””…”We’ve talked about Jake, but where do you put him?” Pinella said. “We know he’s swinging the bat really well…If he could play third base, that would be an obvious place. He’s been playing third base a little more in Triple A, but that’s a tough positon to play.”
Talked about him???? With who Lou? Jim Hendry? And THEN what do you do when your done TALKING? Massage each other?…and swinging the bat REALLY WELL??? Lou, what is your definition of REALLY WELL? The kid’s ON FIRE!
Lou is also mentioning in today’s article that they may WAIT until interleague play so they can DH Fox…DUH. Or even THEN rest Lee as the DH and THEN put Fox in at first. Maybe Lou has lost it in the few years working with Hendry, it’s a shame. While Bud Abbott Hendry and Lou Costello Pinella are WAITING for interleague play, WAITING for Bradley to hit, WAITING for Lee to hit, WAITING for Gregg to pitch well, WAITING for DeRosa and or Peavy to be traded to the Brewers, WAITING for Ramirez to not only REHABILITATE his shoulder but come back JUST AS A PRODUCTIVE A HITTER as he was before, WAITING for Samardja to be a starter or reliever (which is it Jim?), WAITING for the 3 minor leauers acquired for DeRosa to pitch in the majors, WAITING for somebody other than Henry Blanco to mentor Soto, WAITING for Fontenot to turn into an 80 RBI, 20 homer man (DeRosa), WAITING for Fukodome to stay in the batter’s box, WAITING for Soriano to lay off the breaiking balls in the dirt (ala Sosa)….SIGH….
WE are all WAITING for some hardnose, SMART, young, intuitive, DISCIPLINED players who can at least respectfully attempt a run at a World Series, and Jim Hendry is evidently NOT the man to get them, period.
Who’s gonna save us next year Jim? The answer of course is WHOEVER had a great year this season becuause he would HAVE TO HAVE THE SAME KIND OF YEAR FOR THE CUBS NEXT YEAR, and on top of that, let’s sign HIM for 3 plus years for 30 plus million like Bradley, Fukodome or God forbid EIGHT YEARS like Soriano!!! It’s amazing Hendry can spend his employers money in such an irresponsable way and keep his job when a lot of “managers” in the real, troubled world are getting let go for much lesser offenses.
I wonder how well the Rickett’s are sleeping lately???? Hendry keeping his job is truly “Fantasy Baseball”

Guys, it is a business. They will play the big money “players” Hendry forced on us until they are traded or retire. Soriano swings like Sammy did before ‘roids. He swings at hotdog wrappers. We need to get him “gooned on the juice.” And, he can’t play second, either. Lee IS done, sorry to say. He’s a wonderful person. Wish we still had DeRosa, even though my wife has a crush on him. Don’t get infatuated with Hoffpauir. He has a long swing, and as soon as the scouts see enough of him, he’ll start to strike out and Hendry will trade him. This is not nearly the team we had last year. By the way, M. Bradley is the real thing… he’s just “tanking” the season like a lot of guys do to get traded away from this francise.

I have to say I agree with just about everything that’s been said here except of course the boneheaded comment from that Hendry’s doin’ an okay job just because the Cubs won 90 games last year. First of all how long can he rest on that laurel, second, they won those games in spite of Hendry, and last what has he done for us lately? Except trade away a lot of good players (Marquis, Hill, Vizcaino, Wood, etc.) – need I go on?) And I know we keep piling on here but DeRosa could have eliminated the need for Lou’s insane comments about where to play some of these guys. Some of you may be too young to remember this but this reminds me of the game back in the 70’s where we ran out of players in like the 14th inning and had to put Larry Bittner in to pitch. Hmm; I wonder what he’s up to these days…maybe he could replace Hendry.

One more thing I forgot to mention. I’m afraid if Lee doesn’t get into a groove soon we may have to hold on to him. No one’s gonna be interested in trading for him unless he starts to show signs of (real) life. But…once he starts batting over his weight (or is that wait joeydafish?) I say they unload his sorry #@%$.

Lets just throw everyone under the bus because of a loosing streak I have been a cubs fan since the early sixty’s and I’ve seen it all! I will always be a cub fan. Get a few injuries mixed in with the bats are not working right now, and its the General managers fault or Lew’s over the hill. Try and manage a 40 man roster, with all the mental, physical, and emotional problems that a team has, and let’s see how you score on a scale of 1 to 10. I agree totally about what a mistake to trade Derosa, and Blanco, big loss! On a positive note our starting pitching has been great. Can’t go back, so quit griping about it. Do you want to bring up the Mark Grace thing too? Negative views bring negative results. If you are true cubs fans, suck it up, its a long season, or should we all continue to see all the wrong things that are happening right now, and throw in the towel? Wa!Wa! Wa!

I got news for you pawpaw, if you’ve been a Cubs fan from the early sixties (like I have been) you and I “haven’t seen it all” There are Cubs fans out there that have seen a lot more than either you or me and NONE of us have seen a World Series so I don’t know where you get off telling ANY OF US CUBS FANS in order to be “true” we have to suck it up…DUH!! That’s what we ALL do, year after you you goof.
What choice do we have? Of course we suck it up as the Cubs suck….making us true fans even in your opinion. We are almost one third into the season and this team has little reason for optimism, I’ll never say throw in the towel but backing up the truck might be in order especially if Hendry is driving it out of here. And what the heck does the way Mark Grace left have in common with the way DeRosa WAS TRADED FROM A TEAM THAT AS CLOSE AS EVER
TO A THIRD CONSECUTIVE PLAY-OFF RUN? I’m not some mamby pamby fan emotionally attached to “favorite” players, DeRosa played and would have played a key role this season and we are paying the consequences for Hendry’s blunder(S). And I think any of us “Hendry bashers” would LOVE to try to manage the Cubs 40 may roster with “all the problems” boo hoo, poor Hendry, Lou and all the other managers and general managers out there that have such a tough job in game WE ALL LOVE. Nice observation about A positive note for the starting pitching. What league has a World Series based on have A positive note? I think a team just may need more than A positive note to be considered a contender and it’s up to the GM to put those notes together. How aout I end on A positive note? To Cubbeeblue…Larry Biittner pitching!! What awesome memories. Do you remember the game when Biittner was in left field and lost the ball UNDER HIS HAT?!?!
I guess we will just have to keep on WAITING, oh AND
“SUCKING IT UP” wouldn’t want to dissapoint pawpaw.

I think Bittner was in right field when he lost the ball under his cap, sorry. And sorry about the fast fingers and all the typos, I just couldn’t respond fast enough to pawpaw. Also, I agree with motherhuff, but it’s not an infatuation with Hoffpauir, it’s just the extreme dissapointment with Lee that gets me screaming for more Hoff time. You are right, he may be figured out by opposing pitchers and strike out more frequently than his current pace but there is no better time to find out (same for Jake Fox) then when your starting first baseman is in a season long slump, experiencing neck problems, and looking really slow at the plate. I also agree and know that it’s a money player business, it would be great if a field manager just considered the payroll as a whole insteade of as individual salariers. The CUBS as a team make 130 million (or whatever) and the manager plays the best of the 140 million. It’s a pipe dream, I know. Despite my dissappointment with Hendry, I will pull for the Cubs to win every time out even though it may buy Hendry more time to keep his job. With a little over two thirds left in the season,
I wonder how GREAT these slumping prima donnas with batting averages in the low 200’s (or worse) would have to hit in order to finish the season with respectable numbers…..350?

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