Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Streaking/Slumping: Soriano powers up
By Bruce Levine
After going six weeks without a homer, Alfonso Soriano hit three last week.
1. Alfonso Soriano, LF: Yes, we did find a Cub who had a decent week. Soriano finally found his home run mojo, hitting three during the week after enduring a six-week drought to begin the season. For all the talk about trading or releasing the 36-year-old veteran, his retiring teammate Kerry Wood singled him out as a player he admired for fighting through injury and attrition in order to play every day. Besides going deep three times last week, Soriano hit .360 with 6 RBIs. Soriano has a nagging knee problem that may result in a trip to the disabled list at some point this season.
2. Anthony Rizzo, Iowa Cubs 1B: The only other Cub who had a good week plays in the minor leagues. Rizzo got all the headlines this past weekend as manager Dale Sveum said the team will consider calling him up when the Cubs begin interleague play in American League ballparks on June 8. Rizzo has dominated the Pacific Coast League with 15 home runs, 14 doubles and a .365 batting average. Bryan LaHair will have to move to the outfield when Rizzo is called up.
1. The other 24 players: A total offensive melt down has contributed to the Cubs’ seven-game losing streak. They have only scored In four of their past 36 innings over four games. That statistic includes two meaningless games in which the Cubs scored four runs in the ninth inning of blowout losses. Sveum has promised a shakeup of the lineup that may find Starlin Castro back as the leadoff hitter. The strength of the team has been the starting pitching which is beginning to break down due to lack of run support.