7/23 Lineup & Colvin
The Cubs have tried four different leadoff men this season and have yet to settle on the No. 1 guy. Ryan Theriot has been at the top of the order the most this season but lately Lou Piniella has leaned on rookie Tyler Colvin. On Friday, Colvin launched his first leadoff homer in his ninth start at No. 1. It’s the second leadoff blast by a Cubs player this season. Kosuke Fukudome also did so July 5 in Arizona.
“Colvin just has to learn the strike zone better — he chases pitches,” Piniella said prior to thes game. “That’s experience. [Starlin] Castro has done a nice job [batting second].”
Theriot’s on-base percentage has dropped. He does lead the team in stolen bases and having him bat eighth gives the Cubs some speed there. Theriot may be batting .276 but he only has 10 doubles in his 100 hits.
“What we’d like to see is for him to drive the ball a little bit and get a few more extra base hits,” Piniella said.
The next Cubs manager may want to put leadoff hitter at the top of his wish list.
“That’s something over the course of time that has to be addressed,” Piniella said. “The leadoff hitter sets the tone of the ballgame. If you have somebody who first of all can get on with a good on-base percentage and manufacture runs by stealing, it’s nice to have.”
In case you didn’t get Friday’s lineup, here it is:
— Carrie Muskat