Alfonso Soriano Injured: Been There, Seen That

Jerry BurnesAnalyst IJune 11, 2008

It happened last season. It's happened already this season. Alfonso Soriano being injured is almost becoming a regular scene at the Friendly Confines.

Yes, the Cubs will be hurting a little without Soriano, but in the long run, the Cubs will not be affected by this unfortunate event.

The Cubs have won without Soriano before. In fact, the Cubs hit their first big roll of the season without Soriano. His presence was missed so little in his first DL trip this season, that Chicago columnists and Cubs fans alike were calling for his head.

With Soriano out again, the Cubs lineup will not be as good, but their season is far from doomed. The Cubs have a lineup full of players ready to perform.

Here's 10 reasons why the Cubs will be fine:

1) Mark DeRosa will fill in for Soriano from day-to-day. He's a .300 + hitter so far this season. He's a veteran and will continue to perform.

2) Reed Johnson has turned up big for the Cubs. Neither him or DeRosa have Soriano's power, but they are better defensive players and will get on base.

3) Matt Murton may finally have his chance to shine. Murton was moved up in Soriano's first DL trip. With six weeks to play, "The Big Murt" will have a chance to prove himself to the Cubs, or simply boost his trade value.

4) Jim Edmonds is looking like the Edmonds of old. He's getting on base, driving in runs, and his power is starting to increase. Not to mention his defense has not suffered at all with age.

5) To offset Soriano, the Cubs will need Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez to step up. Lee was on his big roll when Soriano went down the first time. He's due again. Ramirez has been solid all season and shows no sign of slowing down. It would be appalling to say both of them couldn't carry the load with a little help from the supporting cast.

6) Kosuke Fukudome is working the long ball, starting to hit home runs. He can hit 15-20 this season easily. If he stays consistent this season, there's little reason to doubt he can make up for Soriano.

7) Geovanny Soto was unexpected. Soto has 11 home runs this season. He's driving in runs at a scary pace too. He alone makes the Cubs offense far better than last season. It's an offense that was good with and without Soriano, who was basically not there in the playoffs.

8) Soriano should be back by August. Provided the Cubs can hold out for a few months without the power bat in the lineup, they will get Soriano back for the stretch run to the playoffs. If his return goes like it did the first time, he'll struggle for a bit, then be red hot by the time the playoffs actually come around.

9) The pitching has been solid. Chicago has been led by their pitching staff this year. Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster just can't lose. Ted Lilly is a having a typical Ted Lilly season. Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood have been outstanding in the bullpen. Scott Eyre is a surprise too. Never would have thought he and a long scoreless streak would go hand in hand.

10) Soriano going down is not like losing Lee. When Lee broke his wrist in 2006, the Cubs suffered. Why? Lee is a leader on the Cubs. He is one of the first ones on the field and last ones off. He gives 110% every game and is an all-around hitter. He hits for average, home runs, and steals about as many bases as Soriano does when given a chance. He's also a great fielder.

If you take Lee out of the lineup, you take out the Cubs' best hitter, best RBI man, and best fielder. If you take out Soriano, you take out a home run hitter, an off and on base stealer, and a liability when doing anything that involves running.

It wouldn't have been much longer until Soriano pulled up lame and missed another two weeks. At least he can't blame injury when he starts running terribly again. Just consider the hand injury as three more hamstring pulls.This just Means the Cubs should have a fresh-legged Soriano when he gets back.

And remember, unlike Lee, Soriano has a broken finger. A little easier to heal and come back from than a broken wrist.