Alfonso Soriano could be batting fourth for the Chicago Cubs in the 2012 Season. While initially this does not sound like a good move I believe that he may be the best option to hit in that slot in the lineup. If you take a look at the rest of the Cubs’ projected lineup there are no names that jump out at you that will fit the role of a cleanup hitter. Sure you have a guy like Bryan LaHair who has shown an ability to hit for some power but other than him the Cubs do not have a more viable option than Soriano.
I am not a Soriano fan and would love to see the Cubs move him out of town but do not agree with the Cubs trading him and then paying a majority of his salary for him to play somewhere else. Trading him just doesn’t make sense because he is not the negative influence that Carlos Zambrano was towards the end of his tenure with the Cubs. Therefore I think it is in the Cubs’ best interest to plug him in the lineup for a 135 games and take what you can get.
Soriano will not hit .280, heck, he might not even hit .250 but what he will do is hit anywhere between 20 and 25 homeruns for a team that seems to be lacking a prototypical power hitter. He’s not a great clutch hitter or a guy who is going to hit behind the runner to advance them along so he fits into more of a run producer. In those first innings when two guys are on base, Soriano has the power to hit that ball out of the ball park and give the Cubs a lead on a more often occasion than anyone else on the Cubs. The only other valid option for that slot would be LaHair who is a career minor leaguer so in my opinion Soriano would be the more logical choice. LaHair can be that number five hitter or maybe even the third depending on the Spring Training he has.
The 2012 Chicago Cubs could be an interesting club to watch this year. Let’s hope that Dale Sveum can find a lineup that will produce on a consisted basis so the Cubs will be a team that will be able to compete.