5/25 Lineup & quick hits

Derrek Lee was scratched from Monday’s lineup because he’s sick with the flu. Lee was sent home. Bobby Scales also was in the original lineup, but was benched because he’s feeling ill, too. Scales was available.

Here’s the lineup: LF Soriano, SS Theriot, RF Bradley, CF Johnson, C Soto, 1B Hoffpauir, 3B Freel, 2B Miles and P Dempster.

* Carlos Marmol was in New York to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s second child. Marmol was expected back in Chicago on Wednesday.

* The Cubs batted .160 on the six-game road trip, scoring five runs. They did face some pretty good pitchers but Lou Piniella is the first to admit they struggled. “Until our batting average gets close to the .250 mark collectively and a few others higher, you’re going to continue to struggle offensively,” Piniella said.

“If we can get through this thing here, it’ll make us better as a team down the road — that’s the positive spin to it,” he said. “It’s been challenging for us all year. We’ve had stretches where we’ve hit well. But basically, the first 40 games or so, the first quarter of this year, it’s been a challenge for us offensively.”

* During his team meeting on Sunday, Piniella told the players to look at video replays of good swings, not bad ones. “I want to see a good picture when I use visualization,” Piniella said.

Maybe the players shouldn’t use the video room. Piniella said they’ve talked about that. “If we have to, we’ll close it down for the players, at least during the game,” he said. “Visualization is a great tool, but at the same time, visualize good things. Don’t keep putting bad pictures in your mind.”

Piniella said what players should do is watch the guy on the mound and see what his approach is to the hitters. “See what he’s getting people out with,” Piniella said. “There are a lot of things you can focus on during the ballgame watching the opposing pitcher that give you clues on how you’ll be approached as a hitter. If you’re watching tape, you miss a lot of things that can help you.”

* The Cubs will be wearing red caps in honor of Memorial Day.

— Carrie Muskat



Finally, Hoff-power at first. Maybe with Lee sick …

Hoff didn’t look too good last night either and with a game like that on the books Hendry may now package him in a trade. I’d still like to see what the kid can do for most of a season.

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