8/31 Quick hits: Call-ups, Soto, & Soriano

The Cubs begin play Monday 5 1/2 games behind the Rockies and Giants in the National League Wild Card race.

“There’s still time,” Lou Piniella said. “We’ll see what happens.”

* The Cubs will add three players on Tuesday, Sept. 1, when rosters expand. Expect to see Micah Hoffpauir, Andres Blanco and Justin Berg. On Wednesday, David Patton was expected to join the Cubs. They’ll add seven to eight players.

* Geovany Soto said he understands why Piniella has decided to lean more on Koyie Hill. Soto was batting .212 for the season, and Piniella said it’s a “mystery” as to why the young catcher is struggling in his sophomore season.

“I would’ve thought that coming into this season he’d have a solid season,” Piniella said of Soto, the 2008 Rookie of the Year. “Maybe not .280 like he hit last year, but certainly a solid Major League season.”

“It’s been surprising to me to see him struggle,” Piniella said.

* Alfonso Soriano may be ready to play Tuesday, but is more likely expected back in the lineup on Wednesday.

— Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

Soriano needs to be much more than “ready to play”, he needs to be ready to contribute. And as everyone knows except for Hendry, even when healthy Soriano can only contribute via the long ball as he is terrible defensivley, can’t run well enough to beat out hits, stretch singles into doubles or steal bases. All this compounded now by knee issues. IF Hendry was a very good GM he never would have signed that kind of player to an eight year deal regardless of the money. I would never complain about Hendry spending money but to do so in such an irresponsable way is just plain BAD general managing. He can only redeem himself by convincing Soriano he would be better off as a DH, concentrate on staying healthy enough to hit, waive his no trade clause and oh yeah Hendry would probably have to EAT AT LEAST HALF HIS SALARY. But IF Hendry can pull that off thusly admitting his failure then this team may have a chance to work out some issues in the next few years. But if we’re stuck with this same outfield for 3-5 years….boy, what pitcher is going to feel good about giving up ANY fly balls, whether routine or in the gap?

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