Soriano Gets a Leg Up

We all know Alfonso Soriano has been dealing with leg issues for awhile. Last August, against the Mets, he pulled up lame rounding 2nd base with a hamstring pull that kept him out of the lineup for a month and prevented him from running the bases aggressively the rest of the 2007 season. During spring training this year, people were questioning why he wasn't running all out. Manager Lou Piniella said in spring training he didn't want his left fielder running much to prevent any leg injuries. Certainly there was enough time for his hamstring injury to have healed in the offseason, so the Cub braintrust knew something wasn't right this season from the beginning in Arizona. This April, he pulled a calf muscle sometime before or after making a signature hop-catch in left field, which cost 2 weeks on the disabled list.

Last night after two days of rest (he didn't play the last game in Houston), Soriano obviously wasn't running normally on what should have been an easy leadoff double to the RF corner where he gimped toward 2nd base and had to do a headfirst slide to get into 2nd safely. Two plays later, Soriano "boldly" took off early on a line drive rope by Derrek Lee which Pirate right fielder Xavier Nady just missed making a diving catch. The ball popped out of Nady's glove letting Soriano score. If the catch was made, it would have been a baserunning blunder. His play in the outfield shows that his running is causing problems there as well. A single by Jason Bay in the bottom of the 1st, which if he had normal wheels would have been his fly ball to catch. It dropped in softly for a single and was ultimately fielded by CF Reed Johnson. In the 4th inning Zambrano and Soriano singled, Theriot walked. After a fielder's choice putting Sori at 3rd base, ARam hit a medium deep fly to right. Although Nady has a strong arm in RF, if Soriano had any confidence in his legs, I am sure he would have challenged Nady's arm, instead Nady's throw was cut off since it was obvious Soriano and his leg wasn't a threat to score. In the 5th, he hit into a double play and even the Pirate TV commentators were showing replays on how funky his running looked while not even making the play at first base close. Soriano was mercifully replaced in the bottom of the 6th by Micah Hoffpauir and as it was a blowout game one wonders if it was the score or Lou's frustration with Soriano's running that lead to that move. The Chicago TV feed had their camera's on the Cub dugout showing the intereaction between Piniella and Soriano where it appeared to me that Lou was trying to get Soriano to fess up and admit that his leg is hurting, although he adamantly denied being injured.

From this morning's Tribune:

"I said, 'What's wrong?' " Piniella recounted. "He said, 'It's confidence.' I guess I have to check with his confidence tomorrow."

Here's my proposal. When a hitter goes into a slump, he'll often change his bat. Go to a bat with a different weight or length. Given that Soriano's leg is the problem, maybe he needs to have the following conversation with one of the Cub broadcasters.

Ronnie: Hey, Big Boy. I see you're limping all the time now.

Sori: No, not limping. Just no confidence in my leg.

Ronnie: Here, try one of my spare legs, it's one of those carbon composite, J-shaped Cheetah blades for runners. It's now approved for Olympic athletes. I'm running around these days like a young pup. I'm sure it's exactly what you need and it will make your signature outfield-hop have some pop too.

Only the Cubs could have a leadoff man who limps.

Comments

Sore-iano?!

I love it. We're finally talking about the things that winning teams talk about instead of losing and how lousy our team is all the time.

I admire the man's willingness to play, but as some point the injury will affect the team's play overall. That time has come, it would appear. Bench him and make sure he's healthy before he comes back on the field, or else he's just another major injury waiting to happen - again.

A Jason Schmidt tidbit:

"Right-hander Jason Schmidt, who returned to Phoenix to attend to a family matter, reportedly threw a bullpen session in Arizona and is expected to make another rehab start Monday for San Bernardino of the California League."

Sorry...credit due to LA times...

i think the more hoffpauer gets lou love the more lou will
question sorianos health.

Soriano gets a Borg leg implant, now if we only could get Jeri Ryan to coach third base.

You like Jeri Ryan? Join the club.

I didn't see the game last night my dad said Soriano was limping bad.

If so sit him and put Micah in LF.

"The stop sign is up. You must comply."

+1. Well played.

Recent comments

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  • You magnificent Bastardo!

    jacos 9 min 25 sec ago view
  • Difference is LaStella sucks, and Chapman doesn't

    /,I need

    jacos 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 1 hour 8 min ago view
  • \m/

    jacos 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • he's attempting a comeback (or he's just very bored) and playing indie ball in the atlantic league...short-lived-cub brad snyder is also on his team.

    very boring numbers for a guy with his experience in indie ball, though not bad numbers...probably not enough to get him a minor league deal at his age (33)

    crunch 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • there goes heyward's gold glove win. bench him and bring up matt murton.

    crunch 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • felt like 36 for sure....

    Rob G. 1 hour 24 min ago view
  • Didn't LaHair hit 36 before the All Star Break? Then none after.

    John Beasley 1 hour 26 min ago view
  • @CarrieMuskat 41s41 seconds ago Bryant is 1st #Cubs player to top 35 HRs since Aramis Ramirez hit 38 in 2006

    surprised me, thought Soriano may have or Rizzo...maybe LaHair or Schierholtz too :)

    Rob G. 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • Twitter tells me more boo's than cheers for LaStella.

    Sigh.

    What was the reaction in Chapman's first game? I was there about a week later and it was all cheers.

    Not that the situations are a one-to-one, but...damn, priorities 'Murica.

    Rob G. 1 hour 38 min ago view
  • bryant is good at doing home rons.

    crunch 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • Word is Patton is refusing to report to Des Moines.

    Charlie 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • lastella's not lost the ability to play 2nd...that's for sure.

    crunch 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • I'd wait til after our last election if I was you.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • i tried...all i got back was comments about beyonce and the walking dead. maybe this should be done in the off-season.

    crunch 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • I'm not making fun of anyone else's losing records until we're in about year 10 of the dynasty and/or Bryant hits his 700th home run.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 22 min ago view