Week 1 ~ Happy Easter ~
Things are good. The season is under way, and the cubs have shown some flashes of both good and bad so far in the first week, while their record sits at (3-2). The lineup is a completely different beast this year, despite that most don't agree with the order, it is early and I expect some changes eventually. But I really don't think that Lee&MB's slow starts are the biggest issues; other things such as the bullpen, Soriano, and Theriot are much more alarming. MB's average isn't much to be desired to this point, but he has had some great at bats nonetheless. He's currently seeing more pitches per at bat than anyone in baseball, with an average of over 5 pitches being seen, which is pretty amazing considering that one player in the lineup could potentially see 15-20% of the opposing pitchers' pitches over the course of a game.
The bullpen, well you know, its just bad right now. However, I do think that things could turn around given the arms down there. Two problems persist throughout the bullpen, and they are simply known as Cotts & Vizcaino. I think I would option Neal Cotts to AAA tomorrow, and then I would buy a fishing pole to give as a gift to Vizcaino after I released him.
Soriano is a problem not because of production but merely because of circumstance. I have to believe that if he continues to crush the ball the way he is right now, some consideration would have to be given to moving him down in the order to #3. Its pretty simple really, Sori is crushing the ball with no one on to drive in. Currently Sori has 7 hits, 5 of which are extra base hits, yet those hits have only resulted in 5 RBI (3 of which came on HR where he drove himself in). Too much production is being lost with Sori leading off.
Then poor Ryan TheRiot, he too is more circumstance than anything in this. He's getting on a whole lot, but not reaching home plate very often at all. In 5 games the riot has reached base 13 times (9 hits & 4 BB's) and only scored 2 times. So this, in a way, dovetails the problem of Soriano. Where Sori needs some AB's with runners on base, and the riot needs to hit if front of someone that can drive him in.
So I guess that pretty much puts me in the camp with those that want to see some lineup changes. But really, I don't think that there should necessarily be a set batting order, so-to-speak. I'm more of the opinion that different guys in the order should be ready to hit in different spots in the order based on the matchups and how the other players on the team are hitting at the time. But I'll throw a couple potential batting orders out there that I would like to see used:
vs RHP --> Riot - Fuku - Sori - MB - Aram - DLee - Font - Hill/Soto - P
vs LHP --> Riot - DLee- Sori - MB - Aram - Hill/Soto - Reed J - Miles - P