4/4 Five-man OF rotation
Lou Piniella met with the outfielders Sunday to go over his game plan and how he will divide playing time. Expect to see Xavier Nady subbing in left field and rookie Tyler Colvin playing center and right this season.
“I’m pleased with every one of them,” Piniella said of his outfielders, “and we have a chance with this group of five to have as good as outfield as there is in baseball.
On Opening Day Monday when the Cubs play the Braves, Alfonso Soriano will start in left, Marlon Byrd in center and Kosuke Fukudome in right. Nady is coming off his second Tommy John surgery and is still testing his right arm. Piniella said Sunday he wants to put Nady in left during the season.
“The throws are a little shorter and he doesn’t have to throw as long from left field to third base,” Piniella said.
Colvin, one of four rookies on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, won a spot with the big league team after batting .468 (36-for-77) with two homers, eight doubles, four triples and 18 RBIs.
“I’ve got to find a little playing time for Colvin early in the season and I’ve got to find a little playing time for Nady,” Piniella said. “It’ll keep everybody nice and fresh, it’ll keep everybody healthy and I think more productive, especially as the summer comes into play.”
– Carrie Muskat