After only two games, it became apparent to Cubs manager Lou Piniella that Alfonso Soriano can’t hit in the two hole.
Soriano has gone 0 for 9 in the first two games of the season with three strike outs.
The change isn’t a result of the Cubs dropping the first two games of the season. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about since the end of Spring Training, and we’ll go with it,” Piniella said. “Soriano is running better. We’ll put him in the leadoff hole, where he’s more comfortable, and let him hit there.”
Soriano has batted first all of his career. Last season the Cubs record was 69-56 when he batted in the lead off spot.
“I’ve batted leadoff all my career,” Soriano said. “I feel comfortable batting leadoff. It’s my first time batting second this year. But I’m seeing the same pitches. It’s not a big deal for me. I’m the same guy, batting leadoff, batting second, I’m the same guy.”
Soriano started the season off in the two spot to protect his legs. Last April, he missed some games due to a hamstring and was on the disabled list in August after pulling his right quad.
“I feel 100 percent,” Soriano said. “I have to play smart, be careful. In this weather, sometimes you feel good. I have to be careful.”
Soriano battled .308 when leading off. He is a caree .295 hitter. Soriano isn’t worried about having an off year.
Shortstop Ryan Theriot batted .300 in 34 games last year in the lead off spot while subbing for the injured Soriano. He doesn’t mind where he bats, just as long as he’s in the line up.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Theriot said. “It’s something we tinkered with a little bit last year. I embrace it. I think it’ll be good. For me, it’s a spot I’ve been in pretty much my whole career. It’s a spot I’m comfortable in, and we’ll see what happens.”
Quotes from: Soriano to move back to the top of line up