Chicago Cubs Showing Desperation: Alfonso Soriano Back To Second Base?

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IMay 23, 2009

MILWAUKEE - APRIL 10:  Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs at bat against the Milwaukee Brewers during the Opening Day game on April 10, 2009 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Callers have almost jokingly proposed it on sports talk radio in Chicago the last couple weeks.

Apparently, Lou Piniella can't come up with anything better.

Rumors are swirling that, for the first time in years, the Cubs will put Alfonso Soriano at second base.

This move would open left field for Micah Hoffpaiur, getting his potent bat into the lineup on a more regular basis since first baseman Derrek Lee isn't going anywhere. Minor league bomber Jake Fox might see a promotion soon as well.

Putting Soriano back at second base, where he averaged 21 errors per season in his career, is a bold and desperate move. The trio of Mike Fontenot, Aaron Miles, and Bobby Scales hasn't been overwhelming at the plate or defensively.

Soriano was widely considered the worst defensive infielder in baseball before Frank Robinson moved him to left in Washington. He broke into the majors as a second baseman with the New York Yankees, and was eventually involved in the blockbuster trade that brought Alex Rodriguez to the Bronx.

In my mind, this move is pathetic, weak and just another sign Cubs' GM Jim Hendry completely blew it this entire winter. He overpaid for Miles months before Orlando Hudson signed with the Dodgers, and overpaid for Milton Bradley when other, better offensive options were still on the market in right field.

If Soriano does move to second base, whether it's on a limited or full-time basis, then every reason to not sign a player like Raul Ibanez or Bobby Abreu loses its validity immediately. If Hendry was truly concerned about the defensive makeup of this team, he would have been proactive to avoid the situation Piniella is facing right now.

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Ibanez, by the way, has 16 home runs entering Saturday. Bradley has 18 hits—total.

Maybe Soriano can pitch too. With Carlos Zambrano having spent a few weeks on the disabled list, and now Rich Harden following him onto the list with a bad back, there's no end in sight.

This year's Cubs team looks more like a desperate fourth place roster than one that's won consecutive division championships.