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Chicago Cubs Need to Get Alfonso Soriano Out of the Leadoff Spot

MILWAUKEE - MAY 10: Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs prepares to bat against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 10, 2009 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Cubs defeated the Brewers 4-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jacob NitzbergAnalyst IMay 29, 2016

I don’t care how comfortable Alfonso Soriano is in the leadoff spothe has to be moved.

Soriano is a very dangerous leadoff hitter, but only when he makes contact with the ball, which, nowadays, is not very often. The Cubs' leadoff hitter needs to have a batting average near .291, which is Soriano’s current on-base percentage.

The last month has just been absolutely pitiful for Soriano. Some of it may be attributed to his knee injury, but he has just been bad any way you look at it.

In his last 28 games, Soriano has exactly one multi-hit game—this past Thursday against the White Sox, where his second hit was a walk-off bloop single.

Over that span, Soriano has a total of seven extra base hits, including five doubles and two home runs. He has driven in just five runs, which would not be so terrible for a leadoff hitter if he was scoring runs instead. 

Soriano, of course, is not. He's touched home plate just 10 times in those 28 games, earning a pitiful .155 average (19-for-122) in that time with a horrendous OBP of .226 (30-for-133). 

To sum it all up, get the guy out of the leadoff spot until he rights himself, or maybe even for good.

While many would think the ideal candidate to replace Soriano at the top is frequent No. 2 hitter Ryan Theriot, I’m putting my vote in for Kosuke Fukudome (against right-handed pitching only, of course). 

Fukudome leads the team with a .397 OBP, and is a solid contact hitter. He also has 41 walks this season, 12 more than anyone on the team. He also showed on Saturday that he can steal bases when he needs to, coming up with a huge swipe with the Cubs down by a run in the bottom of the 13th inning.

I say all of this for the benefit of the team and in the hopes that Soriano can straighten himself out.  It is definitely not because he is killing my fantasy team as a wasted second-round pick or anything like that...

 

This article was originally posted at Cubicle GM.

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