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Sveum says DeJesus will be leadoff hitter

3/10/2012

PHOENIX -- New manager Dale Sveum has decided to stop teasing Chicago Cubs fans, confirming Saturday that he doesn’t intend to use Alfonso Soriano in the leadoff spot this season.

Sveum made waves earlier in the spring when he said Soriano was being considered for the top of the order, something he hasn’t done since 2009 and when he was doing it there were mostly negative reviews.

Sveum even went as far as to say that Soriano had the numbers -- both leading off games and when he was the first batter of an inning -- to justify such a move.

Sveum was signing a different tune before Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, saying that David DeJesus will be his leadoff man come Opening Day and that Soriano will have a run-producing spot in the middle of the order.

“I know I scared you guys a little bit by putting him in the leadoff spot,” Sveum said. “That’s just goofing around with lineups and getting guys at-bats real quick to get guys off their legs. But yeah, he’s definitely going to be in the three, four, five spot.”

DeJesus, who has 2,930 career plate appearances in the leadoff spot, has the kind of top-of-the order abilities that Sveum is looking for.

“Yeah, [DeJesus] is going to be the leadoff guy, there’s no question,” Sveum said. “He’s really our only bona fide on-base guy that obviously can hit and he hits left-handed. He brings all the intangibles that nobody else in the lineup really has brought to the table yet in their careers.”