Hope everyone was successful in their attempts to get tickets today. And I really hope you got to do it from the comfort of your own home instead of outside in this seemingly endless winter. Let’s get back to Arizona to help warm you up! As we briefly touched on yesterday, Lou is still tinkering with the heart of the lineup. He knows that there will be some combination of Fukudome, Lee, and Ramriez in the heart of the Cubs order, but who goes where. Lee has been very successful in the 3 spot, with Ramirez following him hitting clean up, but with Fukudome, it changes the mix a little. The two big problems the Cubs had last year was that they were too slow and hand too many right handers. Lou was happy to get Fuku in the mix, and he was hoping for Roberts. Now that the Roberts deal seems to be fading away, he has to look at the team as is. The Cubs will have a left hander in right field with Fuku and a left hander in center in either Sam Fuld or Felix Pie. Now everyone, especially Lou, is expecting all that much production wise from center, so whoever wins the job will probably bat seventh or eighth in the lineup. The way it looks now, the Cubs could go with
1. Soriano LF
3. Fukudome RF
4. Lee 1B
6. DeRosa 2B
7. Soto C
8. Fuld/Pie CF
The reason Lou may go with this lineup is to break up the righthanders so that your 1-4 guys aren’t all righthanded. The way Lou puts is
"It’s a good way to get some more power into the middle part of our lineup and get some more speed into the top part of our lineup. It’s something we’ll look at here in Spring Training and see how it works."
Soriano, even at 90 percent, Theriot and even Fukudome are pretty fast. I guess I get a little nervous having all those slow pokes in the middle, Ramirez, DeRosa, and Soto. I also an not sure that Pie, who Lou says has a slight edge, hitting in front of the pticher.
So far I don’t know how much I would like to do this. The other school of thought is to hit Fukudome 4th, splitting up Lee and Ramriez, making it even tougher for managers to just go with a right hander reliever later in the game.
"I don’t want to get caught with all this right-handed hitting in one area," Piniella said. "It makes it too easy for the opposing manager to bring in a tough right-handed reliever and he can go take a nap for a couple innings. "
What do you guys think? Split Lee and Ramierz or have Fuku bat in front of them?