With the Cubs announcing that #31 will be retired in honor of Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux, waxpaperbeercup recently asked if the Cubs should retire #21 in honor of Jason Marquis? Suprisingly, 40% thought the Cubs should do so...which I thought was a bit high for someone that was a Cub for just two years.
All kidding aside, it's an intriguing question and I imagine I'll get a similar response here, but let's try it anway. For anyone who reads this site regularly, they'll know where I stand when it comes to Sammy Sosa. The man deserves far more gratitude from Cubs fans than the vitriol that seems to be prevalent, but let's put it to a vote and see if we can up the sample size.
I just thought I'd point out that Soler has a 0.6 WAR in only his first 3 games, according to Fangraphs. (Just imagine if we extrapolated that over 162 games!!!!1!!! Clearly he'll be worth 32.4 WAR next season. Barring injury, of course.)
The only value batting in front of Rizzo is if the hitter has a good eye and doesn't swing at pitches out of the strike zone. Then he will see mostly fastballs. So (eventually) Addison Russell and Jorge Soler would be the two hitters among the "Fab Five" you would most want to hit in front of Rizzo (and Bryant).
Batting Javy #2 makes sense if the goal is to get him ABs and see a lot of pitches -- but the theory that he was going to see a lot of fastballs hitting #2 always seemed flawed to me -- once it was established he would chase virtually every slider, why would anyone throw him fastballs, no matter where he hits in the order? Also, in classic Cub fashion, they basically told everyone that they were batting him #2 so he would see fastballs -- pitching coaches are not stupid.