Cubs’ Lineup Starts to Take Shape

Byrd looks to solidify the Cubs' lineup (Keith Allison/Flickr).

One of the most mind-boggling batting orders that I can ever remember is when the Chicago Cubs have decided to hit outfielder Alfonso Soriano in the leadoff spot. Just the idea of having a guy with a career .326 OBP (with a horrible .303 in 2009) atop your lineup in the spot you expect the guy to get on to set your table gives me fits. It just doesn’t make sense.

Apparently Cubs manager Lou Piniella has had an epiphany over the winter as he has stated that Soriano will now hit in the sixth spot this upcoming season. Finally the world makes sense again.

This comes on the heels of the Cubs signing another outfielder, free agent Marlon Byrd, who Piniella says will slide into the ever important five spot to backup Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. This will be a major upgrade over Milton Bradley who spent most his time hitting fifth for the Cubs where he provided almost no protection at all for the middle of the order.

I think this is a step in the right direction for the Cubs who are in some desperate need for all the help they can get in an improved National League Central. It’s not going to be an easy task for the Cubs to win the Central this season with the Cardinals locking down Matt Holliday last week and the Brewers solidifying their rotation with Randy Wolf. If the Cubs are going to succeed they are going to need help from everyone and need to avoid the injuries and internal implosion they experienced a year ago.

The first step is getting some stability to their lineup and I believe this is a step in the right direction.

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