Cubs: Losing ways continue as club struggles to pull together

Katelyn GrabarekSenior Analyst IMay 8, 2008

As the calendar turned to May last week, I was really hoping my beloved Cubbies would not enter a May swoon again this year. 

With the turning of the calendar, our so-called leadoff hitter was set to return to an already power-packed lineup, which could only spell good news right? 


As it turns out, the Cubs are spending $17,000,000 a year on Alfonso Soriano so  he can hit leadoff and make a mockery of a decent lineup. 

When the Cubs were broadcasted on FOX on Saturday, one of the commentators mentioned moving the pitcher up to the eighth spot and moving Soriano to ninth so he wouldn't do much damage. 

Not a bad idea considering Carlos Zambrano has been known to hit better than people in our lineup on occasion. 

Then there's the pitching rotation.  Carlos Zambrano has been lights out this season with a 1.80 ERA.  Ted Lilly seems like he is starting to find his groove after going seven strong innings in his last start, which was needed after Rich Hill lasted two-thirds of an inning the night before. 

Hill was optioned to Triple-A to fix his mechanics after that game.  Ryan Dempster has turned out to be a pleasant surprise, however, in the early going this season.  Dempster has made some strong starts when the Cubs have needed to.  Granted, this is not Dempster's first attempt at starting in the major leagues. 

Jon Lieber was inserted into the rotation for Rich Hill, making his first appearance yesterday.  Lieber did little to calm the Cubs hopes for a solid starter to replace Hill, giving up four home runs in the second inning yesterday and making Cubs fans cringe at the thought of another failed attempt at finding another starter.

Maybe it's time for Piniella to reconsider inserting Sean Marshall into the starting rotation.  The Cubs rotation is dominated by right-handed starters right now, and the last thing they need is to insert another one after demoting Hill.  Marshall started last season and picked his game up the more he started. 

Hopefully the Cubs can turn it around when they come home for the longest home stand of the year to face the Diamondbacks, who are 22-11, San Diego, and Pittsburgh.