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Piniella announces Cubs batting order with Byrd fifth, Soriano sixth

Jan 18, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

Speaking at the annual Cubs convention over the weekend, manager Lou Piniella revealed that new center fielder Marlon Byrd has been penciled into the No. 5 spot in the batting order and Alfonso Soriano will remain in the No. 6 spot that he filled during the second half of last season.
Soriano spent his first two-and-a-half seasons with the Cubs batting almost exclusively leadoff, but was never a particularly good fit there. Not only is he a high-strikeout free-swinger with a sub par .328 career on-base percentage, batting atop the lineup limited his RBI chances and often wasted Soriano’s power. He’s a better fit in the sixth spot, but my guess is that he’ll eventually end up hitting fifth behind Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez while Byrd slides down in the order.
Signed to a three-year, $15 million deal last month, Byrd has hit fifth in 18 percent of his career starts and saw plenty of action there for the Rangers. However, in three years with Texas he hit a modest .281/.328/.414 away from the Rangers’ offense-boosting home ballpark and prior to 2009 his career-high was 10 homers. Signing the 32-year-old Byrd to a three-year deal with the expectation that he’ll be a good defensive center fielder and productive No. 5 hitter for the life of the contract is going to leave the Cubs disappointed.

  1. Sai-Kit Hui - Jan 18, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    What is it about managers giving Marlon Byrd so many AB’s? As a Nelson Cruz fantasy owner, it is frustrating to see Byrd get more AB’s than Cruz despite Cruz being a better outfielder and hitter.
    Whatever Cruz’s alleged weakness against lefties, Bryd’s leftie split wasn’t much better.
    The good news is that I can safely pick up Cruz again this season now that Byrd is gone.

  2. Jacob - Feb 20, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    3.1B D.LEE
    4.3B A.RAMIREZ
    5.CF M.BYRD

  3. Chubby - Feb 20, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    kjhmkfmn hngfyrtgfv bvcbvcbxgf

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