Chicago Baseball News: Felix Pie Easing Into Centerfield Job For Cubs

Jason YoderContributor IApril 23, 2008

Coming out of Spring Training, it looked like the Chicago Cubs starting center field job was Felix Pie's to lose, and after hitting .338 with five doubles, one triple, two home runs, eight RBI's, and three stolen bases in the Cactus League, Felix did nothing to worsen his chances.

However, when the Cubs acquired Reed Johnson from the Toronto Blue Jays, that all changed. 

Although Pie started the first four games of the season for the Cubs in CF, he went a combined 3-for-15 with four striekouts and 1 stolen base, while the Cubs started the season 1-3. 

With Johnson's hot hitting came an increase in playing time for Reed and a decrease in playing time for Felix.  Pie has earned a few "spot starts" here and there, but nothing that would resemble regular playing time. 

One of those spot starts came yesterday—a night after hitting a huge, pinch hit, three-run homer against the New York Mets on Monday. 

Pie went 2-for-5 yesterday and didn't strike out. He played centerfield and batted second, behind Reed Johnson, who shifted over to leftfield.

Johnson, 31, and Pie, 23...those aren't their uniform numbers, but their ages this season.  Johnson, a more "seasoned" and professional hitter, will continue to get a majority of the starts in centerfield this season.

But as long as Pie continues to get better and have more "quality" at-bat's, Felix should start to see more playing time on a regular basis.

It may not be soon, or even after the All-Star break. But eventually Felix Pie is going to be the everyday centerfielder for the Chicago Cubs.  His day will come,and when it does, he's going to blossom into an extraordinary ballplayer.