The Cubs’ infield has been one of the stronger areas for the Chicago Cubs over the past few years.
Their corner-infielders have become stars in Chicago, and they have had lovable middle-infielders as well.
Here is a look at the expected starting line-up for the infield:
C: Geovany Soto
1B: Derek Lee
2B: Mike Fontenot
SS: Ryan Theriot
3B: Aramis Ramirez
This will likely be the strong point for the Cubs, as it has been for the past couple of years.
Lee and Ramirez had great offensive seasons last year, combining for 50 home runs and 176 RBI, despite Ramirez missing major time due to injury.
Both had averages over .300 and OBP’s near .400, and they will need to continue that success if the Cubs want to have any chance at winning the NL Central.
Theriot and Fontenot were both Cubbie favorites while they were splitting time at their respective positions, but once they were given the reigns, they somewhat disappointed.
Although Theriot was still average on offense for a shortstop...despite a slight drop off from his career stats, he wasn’t far below his career averages.
Theriot will likely be backed up by Andres Blanco, who isn't as stellar offensively but has a lot to offer with his glove.
However, Fontenot was unable to capitalize on his Cubbie fame and batted a lowly .236 with an OBP of .301, not something you want from a guy who doesn’t have a lot of power.
Fontenot needs to be careful because the Cubs have a lot of young talent at second base, and if he doesn’t pick up the pace he could be replaced by Jeff Baker.
Baker came to the Cubs last season from the Colorado Rockies, and was solid when he was able to play. He hit .305 with four home runs in 69 games in a Cub uniform.
After a tantalizing rookie season, Soto had a bad case of the sophomore slump. He followed up his rookie campaign of batting .285 with 23 home runs and 86 RBI by batting .218 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI’s.
Soto is going to need to work on his swing and get back to the magic that made his rookie season or he might see more and more of his playing time going to Koyie Hill, who is a really good defensive catcher.
The Cubs have a solid infield this season, but there could be some changes throughout the season to shore up short stop and catcher.
I’m Joe W.