7/5 Quick hits
Lou PIniella talked to hitting coach Von Joshua prior to Sunday’s game about making a minor tweak with Alfonso Soriano’s stance. If Soriano were to close his stance, it might help him put more weight on his back leg and get him to wait better at the plate.
“It’s up to the individual,” Piniella said. “The individual has to feel comfortable with it. We’ll see.”
The fans have shown their displeasure in Soriano’s at-bats lately at Wrigley.
“I don’t like to see our players get booed, I really don’t,” Piniella said. “I think it’s a defeating purpose. I can understand people getting frustrated but at the same time, it doesn’t serve any purpose. Boo the opposition as much as you want. Boo me — but let the players relax and let them play.”
Of course, when fans boo Piniella, it sounds a little like “Lou.”
“I’ve always used that in my whole career, obviously,” Piniella said.
* The Cubs have some decisions to make on Monday. Aramis Ramirez, Reed Johnson and Angel Guzman all are expected to be activated from the disabled list. Piniella says he hasn’t talked to GM Jim Hendry about the possibility of going with 11 pitchers. They’ll meet prior to Monday’s game against the Braves.
Ramirez will bat fourth behind Derrek Lee when he returns. Piniella cautioned that it’s not fair to think of the third baseman as the savior who will fix the team’s offensive struggles.
“He needs to do what he’s capable of doing, and no more,” Piniella said. “Like I said, don’t assume the role of Superman. I think he’s smart enough to stay away from that. It might be a few days after he gets some at-bats and starts feeling super comfortable at home plate. He’s been a professional his whole career. He’s going to help us, there’s no question about it.”
* Ron Santo took Sunday off, but will be back in the WGN Radio booth on Monday. Dave Otto filled in for Santo.
* The All-Star roster will be announced Sunday. Piniella said the Cubs have four players worthy of consideration, including Lee, Ted Lilly, Kevin Gregg and Ryan Theriot.
* Looking ahead to the Cubs’ series against the Cardinals, it’ll be Rich Harden on Friday, followed by Lilly on Saturday, and Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells in the day-night doubleheader July 12. Who pitches which game has yet to be determined.
– Carrie Muskat