Lou Piniella had several possible lineup combinations scribbled on paper all over his desk Friday. In the end, he put Alfonso Soriano back in the leadoff spot vs. the Brewers despite rookie Sam Fuld’s back to back two-hit games batting first.
“Yeah, I thought about it all night,” Piniella said. “We need for Alfonso to start swinging the bat. I have all the confidence in the world with him. He’s back out there in the leadoff spot and hopefully he gives us a spark.”
Soriano, who was batting .179 in his last 35 games, could’ve been dropped in the order. Piniella did consider that option.
“He hasn’t played for a couple days,” Piniella said of Soriano, who has been working with hitting coach Von Joshua. “Let’s put him in the spot he’s familiar with and let’s see if we can get him hot. … Today’s he’s in the leadoff spot and in left field where he’s familiar. Let’s hope he swings the bat — we want him to swing the bat.”
The Cubs will have to make some adjustments in the lineup when Aramis Ramirez returns from his rehab outing on Monday. Reed Johnson was expected to be activated then, too.
– Carrie Muskat