9/14 Quick hits
Alfonso Soriano admits he’s nervous about having arthroscopic surgery Tuesday on his left knee. It’s the first time the Cubs outfielder will have surgery.
“They say it’s a little one,” Soriano said. “I hope I’m ready in two weeks, three weeks and see progress. I hope it works and makes my knee better.”
The Cubs hope that by doing the procedure now, Soriano can take advantage of the team’s medical staff and begin his rehab before heading home to the Dominican Republic.
* One thing that is set for 2010 is Carlos Marmol’s status. He’s the Cubs closer.
“I think he’s done enough and shown enough and we have confidence in him enough that going into Spring Training next year, it’s his job and we’ll leave it at that,” Lou Piniella said Monday.
Marmol was named the Cubs’ closer on Aug. 18, and had eight straight saves since then. He did take the loss Saturday against Cincinnati, giving up two runs in one inning. Marmol entered that game with it tied at 5.
* Who’s your pick for Cubs’ MVP? Piniella agreed that Derrek Lee is obvious choice.
“Without question,” Piniella said. “He’s really come on. He got off to a little bit of a slow start and started to pick it up and has gotten better and better since the year has gone on.”
Balls are jumping off Lee’s bat, and he entered Monday’s game with 97 RBIs, 32 homers and a .302 average.
* Piniella was to talk to pitching coach Larry Rothschild about the possibility of inserting Tom Gorzelanny or another young pitcher into the mix to give the rest of the rotation a breather. One pitcher they want to be careful with is Randy Wells, who has already set a career high in innings.
“We have enough pitching here to do what we want to do,” Piniella said. “We’re still not eliminated and we’re still trying to win as many games as possible. We’ll see when we sit down and talk.”
* Kosuke Fukudome’s hitting coach from Japan has rejoined the Cubs. The outfielder needs a little tweaking. He’s batting .156 this month.
“He’s been spinning a little bit,” Piniella said of Fukudome. “He’s got to stay in a little longer. How many times have you seen him hit the ball to left field? Not much. When you isolate only one field, that’s not good. He needs to use the whole field to hit with and not become so pull conscious. When you start spinning, that’s what you do, you start pulling the ball almost strictly and he’s not that type of hitter.”
– Carrie Muskat