Alfonso Soriano no fan of seventh spot
ST. LOUIS -- As he nears the end of his fifth season with the Chicago Cubs, left fielder Alfonso Soriano said he doesn't like the way the club treated him this year by batting him mostly in the seventh spot in the lineup.
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"I'm not a guy that fights with people," Soriano told ESPNChicago.com. "The way they treat me this year, I don't like it. The way they have me hit in the No. 7, 5 and 6 spots, I have trouble concentrating on the job hitting in those different spots. But (Mike) Quade is the manager and does his best to try to make the team better."
Going into Saturday's game, Soriano has 203 at-bats in the seventh spot -- the most for any spot in the order -- and is batting .258 with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs in the position. He also has 172 at-bats in the sixth spot (.233, 9, 26) and 76 in the fifth spot (.224, 3, 17).
For the season, Soriano has hit 25 home runs and driven in 85 runs, his most as a Cub. Those power numbers are better than any regular seventh hitter in the National League. His 85 RBIs also rank second on the Cubs behind Aramis Ramirez's 92.
Asked why he didn't go to Quade earlier in the season to voice his displeasure about his spot in the lineup, Soriano said: "I don't think I should go to his office because I'm not like that. That's not me. He puts me in the seventh spot, and he thinks we can win like that then I'm OK with that.
"My first year in the major leagues I batted eighth and ninth. After that I never batted lower than sixth. But Mike's the manager and we do what he says."
Soriano, 35, signed an eight-year, $136 million contract with the Cubs in 2006. With three years and $54 million left on the deal, Soriano's future may be best suited as an outfielder/DH. For that to happen, the new Cubs general manager likely will have to eat most of the remainder of the deal to trade him.
Soriano said he hasn't given much thought about these potentially being the final days of his Cubs career.
"I don't think about that at all," Soriano said. "That's up to the new general manager. I just concentrate on playing right now. After the season I'll go back to the Dominican and think about what's best for me, but that's after they decide what they want to do."
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
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