5/11 Finding the right combo

Derrek Lee hit fourth Tuesday night, the first time he’s hit somewhere other than third this season.

“It is what it is,” Lee said. “I’m hitting fourth. I’ll go out and do my best and hopefully it works.”

The change is part of Lou Piniella’s attempts to get the offense on track. Lee entered Tuesday’s game batting .211, Aramis Ramirez was hitting .163.

“We need for them to hit for us to score runs consistently,” Piniella said. “I don’t know exactly what our choices are. [Alfonso] Soriano’s been swinging the bat well and we don’t want to disturb that situation. [Geovany] Soto’s doing his job nice in the seventh hole. We have our leadoff people who are getting on base.

“We get the middle part of our lineup hitting and we’re going to score runs,” Piniella said. “It’s all set up. It’s just a question of getting it done. I don’t know what else we can do. You’ve got to be patient. I wish I had this patience in a lot of other things I do.”

The Cubs rank 15th in the NL in runners left on base, which is a not a good stat. Only the Brewers have stranded more, leaving 267. The Cubs have stranded 254.

Both Lee and Ramirez are working with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, yet both say they know their swing better than anybody.

“I am my own hitting coach,” Ramirez said. “I can listen to Rudy. I know what I have to do to be ready.”

— Carrie Muskat


This tells you all we need to know… we have 5players batting in the .300s thanks to Jaramillo, yet the 2players who skived the necessary work in Spring training when they could know best – and every one of us is paying for them “knowing best”…

If Hendry had a backbone he’d send Ramirez down to AA for a month, whilst we still have a chance to turn this around.

Can we sit A-Ram yet….or does everyone still think he is going to snap out of it?



Well there you go – if Ramirez is his own hitting coach then maybe he needs to fire himself! The Cubs don’t pay a hitting coach to just sit on the bench and watch – perhaps Aramis should avail himself of the expertise available to him? “No man is an island unto himself.” That should be his new motto. As for D. Lee – hopefully he is more receptive to some good advice. I said it before and I will say it again – it is time to release Ramirez and bring Mark DeRosa back.

hustlelikereed, did you say “whilst”? Yeah, verily thee be forthright with yon assessment, the knaves Lou and James beith ripe for ye olde lashing!
How about the Ricketts start with identifying the WRONG COMBO and get rid of Hendry & Pinella, two tired, wrong-headed “leaders” that couldn’t find their way out of an elevator, which by the way his headed straight to the basement of the entral division while these two clowns do nothing.

Last night while I was procrastinating getting some work done, which is what I’m doing right now, I came up with what I would do with the lineup this year. So here it is:
Theriot 2b
Colvin lf
Byrd rf
Soto c
Lee 1b
Fontenot 3b
Castro ss
Fuld cf (assuming he’s healthy again)

What do you all think? I know it’ll never happen, but it was fun procrastination!

I forgot to mention that I’d send Baker down to AAA or drop him and call up Darwin Barney.

joey that is the dumbest lineup i have ever seen… you leave out Fukudome who is hitting .326?? and by the way has a CANNON and who hits well in the #2 spot….you bring up Fuld who is hurt and leave Soriano who is the best hitter on the team right now? i will say he sucks at defense yes but right now he’s hot and we need him… I agree with sitting ARAM to wake his butt up… I like seeing Fontenot there and I would also try Baker to see who can produce somewhat… Also I would leave Soto where he is… he is getting good pitches at the 7 hole if he moves up to 5 he will see less fastballs and will prolly drop in production… its plain and simple if Lee and ARAM start hitting we will be a tough team but with our leaders sucking it up we are hurting… pitching is pretty good… at least they are giving us the chance to win..

o I forgot to add that if we wanted to do something major with the lineup why not try to put Castro in the 9 hole and move pitcher to 8… its not going to change much of anything but if we are looking for lineup combos why not try it

We need to start a bring back DeRo campaign.

you would rather waste the millions we have on Soriano when he is on the bench? You would rather have a 275 hitter instead of 327? What about the arm in the outfield? No way Colvin has even as close of an arm as Soriano… How about the speed and range (granted he cant catch it when he gets there but I am trying to make a point)… I love Colvin guys but you can’t replace Soriano’s bat right now… no way no how… I love Colvin’s hustle too because Soriano is lazy but you won’t see Colvin steal 20+ bases like Soriano can ( he has stole 40+ 3 times… I blame Lou for not MAKING him steal)… I get it…but you come on… there is no way to replace Soriano right now… and moving the the pitcher is a MAJOR change… how many clubs do you see use it? But still if you look at the research that has been done in baseball having the pitcher 8th produces SLIGHTLY more runs… WE NEED ALL WE CAN GET!! Don’t belittle me guys I got all day


I agree we shoudln’t have got rid of Derosa but right now would not be a good time… his wrist is hurt and will prolly require more surgery to fix… love the guy tho!

fuld, IMO, will be a life time solid bench player… never a full time starter… but I could be wrong

Ok Petrey, then put Fukucome in right and Byrd in center, I could live with that, but I don’t Soriano is producing enough at the plate to justify is terrible defense and Colvin would produce just as much at the plate, play far better defense, a left handed bat, a solid if not speedy base runner and someone who is going to be around for years to come and will only get better. I see no problem with switching Soriano and Colvin’s roles. It needs to be done if the Cubs want to win both now and later. Having said that I realize it isn’t going to happen and therefore I hope they will win anyway. I almost forgot to mention that I’m not joey, but it made me laugh that you blamed him for my madness!

Whew! That was a close one! I don’t think I could have lived on knowing that PETREY10 thought I came up with the dumbest line-up he/she has ever seen. Thanks for bailing me out pman. Switching the 8 & 9 hitters is doing something “major” with the line up??? C’mon already…really? Really? Pman, your madness is not all that mad and I completely agree with switching Colvin and Soriano, I mean we’re are talking about something MAJOR right? I’d rather waste the past (Soriano) on the bench rather than waste the future (Colvin). What’s good enough for Castro should be good enough for Colvin, it’s just that there is nowhere to move the inferior fielding Soriano like Theriot was moved to 2B. Move Soriano to Boston, any way, any how.

no responses huh?

Response: Sorry petrey10 I was a little busy. I just think this is the year to do just about anything (as we are all trying to convey) and I will stick with my thoughts of not missing Sorianos “hot bat” in favor of developing Colvin’s future. Hendry seems to be doing a good job of wasting millions of dollars all by himself by the way. As far as Soriano’s arm, it’s awesome but you make my point by saying he can’t catch even when he gets there, quite an indictment. Soriano has no range, doesn’t play the ball of the wall very well and doesn’t take good routes to the ball. I don’t hate Soriano, I hate the fact that Hendry signed him for 8 years and put him and the club in a bad way when he belongs in the AL as a DH. Agreed to disagree. Maybe I was on edge because you thought I was the one that came up with the dumbest line up ever??? 🙂

Ok, lets get over d-ro. I was mad they traded him too and I told a friend he was my only untouchable that offseason. I wish he was still here too but it was 2 years ago!!! No one even wanted him when he came to the Cubs. Let it go. He is heading to the dl and the 08 season was his best year so far. I agree Colvin needs a lot more but can we give Soriano some credit. He has payed his tail off while a lot of vets look like they mailed it in. He has played good defense lately while Rami has made as many errors as Soriano!!! Im not saying Soriano should play everyday or start over Colvin just give him some credit for his play lately. If we boo him for bad play we should give him credit when he does something good. For the last two weeks he has been an all around good player for the Cubs, while Rami hurts the Cubs day in and day out and most fans just let him off the hook. Blame the guys who deserve the blame.

I agree with that 100% Lou is taking away abs that Colvin really needs and will never get back. On MlbNetwork one guy said that if you bring a top prospect up to the majors you need to play him 4-5 times otherwise he should be in the minors. Colvin is playing once a week. I agree Colvin needs to play. He is learning nothing from sitting on the bench. Its good to see Soriano playing good but hes still untradeable. No matter how good he is playing right now or how good he plays this year no GM in their right mind will take that contractm but i guess if Bradley can get traded makes me think anyone can be traded.

I’m not blaming Soriano, but I am saying that he isn’t a good enough all around player to be starting most games ahead of Colvin. Colvin starting makes this team better than when Soriano starts and it also gets Colvin ready for the future. Soriano is hitting in the 6 slot and the Cubs don’t have enough confidence in him to move him up despite his good numbers. Surely Colvin is at least good enough to be a 6 hitter and I would put him in the 2 slot right now! That makes Colvin far more valuable despite the fact that Soriano is playing well right now.

I agree. Colvin needs to be playing at least 3-4 times a week. Right now he is playing once a week. i dont get it. It is nice to see Soriano playing well i will admit but theres no way he should be playing everyday. the worst part is no matter how good Soriano plays no GM in their right mind will take that contract leaving the Cubs with this same prob for years to come.

Wow, we (pman, mlbfanwi, myself) should just all stop commenting right not while we are in total agreement??? Nahhhh!! To agree even more with mlbfanwi I think that no GM will take on Soriano’s CONTRACT…as it stands, however if Hendry plays his cards right he can trade him by eating a lot of the money, take the hit with the objective being to unload a bad situation in left field for years to come. This is what I call Hendry’s act of contrition. MAYBE an AL gm (BoSox?) WOULD take on Soriano for four more years at the right price knowing he could DH and not be a liablilty in the field, something Hendry never seemed to understand (see Bradley, Nady).

if we could trade Soriano… eat some of contract but get a very good player in return (hopefully some pitching) I would do it but not playing Soriano everyday is going to take him out of his game… he has improved his d lately and I agree with whoever said ARAM has hurt us worse… But I will never sit a veteran who 1) has proven he can be a stud 2)has an enormous and ridiculous contract 3) is on FIRE…. Fukudome will eventually cool down and I would put Colvin in right at that point but until then all he is going to get is spot starts to give the other 3 a blow….

When one’s d is so bad, anything may be preceived as an improvement. O.K, I wouldn’t completley bench Soriano either but if I were Lou I definatley would sit both Soriano and Fukdodome just 2 times per week each which would get Colvin 4 starts per week. That seems reasonable (and closer to what Lou said he would do!!) and productive for both the team’s current predicament and Colvin’s future without being too harsh to either Soriano or Fukodome. Why should Colvin be taken out of HIS game? I’m just about ready to give up on Ramirez and start calling for Fontenot at third. Why does Lou bring in Zambrano to get 3 outs in the 8th inning and when he fails to do so he goes to somebody else (Marmol)? Isn’t it the same for Ram? He bats Ram to drive in runs but when he REPEATEDLY fails he does not go to somebody else (Fontenot). I used to back Ram but he may need a stretch of time off.

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