A couple days ago, Lou Piniella made my heart sink by indicating his plan to use Alfonso Soriano in the lead-off spot again. But now a ray of hope has broken through the clouds of despair: Piniella said Monday he will probably tinker with the line-up quite a bit, meaning Soriano will wind up hitting in the middle at least some of the time. “We’ve got a combination of Derrek, Bradley, Ramirez,” Lou explained. “You know, I’m not going to (rule) out the possibility of throwing Soriano into that mix, too. We’ll see how it works out. We can play around with that this spring.”
Let’s hope that, in the process of tinkering, Lou becomes convinced that almost anyone would be a better lead-off option than Soriano. Bat Theriot up there. Fontenot. Reed Johnson. I don’t care…just as long as they can get on base with consistency, and don’t turn into strike-out machines for days at a time. And please don’t give me any of this “What about Alfonso’s speed?” crap. He never steals anyway. I’ve always said: If your overall strategy doesn’t include stealing, why does it matter if your lead-off man can run? As long as he’s fast enough to stay out of double plays, he’s fine. It’s all about OBA. The middle of my order would go like this:
3 – Aramis Ramirez
4 – Milton Bradley
5 – Alfonso Soriano
6 – Derrek Lee
Yeah, Lee 6th. He’s not a power threat anymore – hasn’t been since he busted the wrist. He might even make a decent two hitter given his plate discipline. I don’t know where to fit Geovany Soto in there. Probably 2 most of the time. It’s still kind of an awkward line-up. My dream move would’ve been to trade Lee and sign Mark Teixeira, but, that was never going to happen.