4/20 Lou & Soriano have a chat
Cubs manager Lou Piniella met with Alfonso Soriano on Tuesday to discuss the left fielder’s base running, or lack of, in Monday’s game. Soriano hit a ball to deep left center with one out in the second inning against the Mets and did not run quickly out of the batter’s box. He ended up with a double but the ball seemed to have gone far enough that he could’ve had a triple.
“I talked to Alfonso and told him, when you hit the ball, even though you might think it’s a home run, leave the box,” Piniella said, “and when you recognize it is a home run for sure, then you can go into your trot.”
Piniella didn’t see Soriano come out of the box because he was watching Mets center fielder Angel Pagan track the ball and the ball itself.
“Last night, I was watching the flight of the ball and I didn’t see what he did or didn’t do at home plate,” Piniella said. “I was watching the center fielder and watching the ball. I have talked to Alfonso about it and you know what, at times, habits are hard to break.”
Judging by where the ball landed, did Piniella think Soriano should’ve been on third?
“A really fast player would’ve had a triple for sure,” Piniella said. “In Alfonso’s case, I’m not going to say he should’ve or not, because I didn’t see it. It’s a long ways out there. He obviously thought it was a home run when he hit it. It didn’t go all the way out. It hit the wall. But we’ve talked to him about it and we’ll see if it works. I think it will.”
There’s another habit Piniella would like to see Soriano change and that’s to abandon the hop he does when he catches a ball in the outfield. This weekend, Soriano said he would stop but on Monday, he did a little hop while catching two fly balls. That may take some time, too.
“I understand that,” Piniella said. “He works every day at it and he does it without the hop in practice. Yesterday, he caught one ball and it wasn’t a full hop. I just want him to catch it.”
— Carrie Muskat