Fans should hope Soriano gets moved in lineup


When Alfonso Soriano is mentioned to Chicago Cubs fans, negative reactions usually follow.

“Oh, you mean the guy that went 3-28 in two postseasons.”

“Soriano, yeah, we’ve given him $24 million so far, and he’s given us no postseason victories.”

“Get him out of the leadoff spot!”

And after comments made by Lou Piniella in Mesa, Ariz., Cubs fans may see Soriano pushed down in the lineup.

Wanting such a move is justified by looking at Soriano’s career on-base percentage of .329 — not pretty. It is also justified by looking at his career slugging percentage of .518, a number typically seen by a middle-of-the-order type hitter.

And then the icing on the cake comes from the Cubs’ current shortstop’s numbers. Ryan Theriot had a .387 OBP last year, a number that would ensure remarkable run production with sluggers Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Milton Bradley and — gulp — Soriano hitting behind him.

Theriot also runs the bases better, especially with Soriano’s lingering injuries.

With all that being said, the Cubs were still 69-36 last season with Soriano leading off.

So why should Cubs fans keep begging for Soriano to be moved down?

Because, regardless of their record with Soriano leading off, the numbers prove the Cubs could score more runs with Theriot leading off.

My guess is that the Cubs were so much better than their competition last year that it did not matter who led off. That looks to be the case this year, but it is not guaranteed.

Piniella said he would “play around [with moving Soriano down in the order] this spring.”

Cubs fans should be hoping Piniella’s little game turns into reality.