Lou Piniella’s crew is 3-4 after seven games of the 162-game schedule. The offense, bullpen and Alfonso Soriano have been the biggest topics surrounding the Cubs over the first week of the season.
What are the Cubs going to do with Alfonso Soriano? Lou Piniella addressed Alfonso Soriano’s problems in the outfield and it appears he will be replaced on a regular basis late in games.
The offense showed life as well on Monday but now the concern is the amount of runs the Cubs are scoring via the longball. 19 of the Cubs 27 runs this year have been scored on 11 home runs.
The latest on Ted Lilly is that if all goes as planned, he could be back in the rotation by April 24 … the second game of the weekend series in Milwaukee.
Despite the Cubs have the highest payroll in the Senior Circuit the Cubs’ new owner said there could be room to add more, if needed. Tom Ricketts mentioned on Monday that “there would be some wiggle room for general manager Jim Hendry is a player were needed to fill an important role or injury dictated replacing a player.”
Here are the updates on the off day with more on Ted Lilly, Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano …
Ted Lilly threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session at Wrigley Field on Monday. Lilly’s next time on a mound will be Wednesday.
A report on Monday night from Bruce Levine indicated Lilly would make his start in Iowa. The Cubs plan for Lilly to throw 60 pitches, 15 less than originally scheduled. Lilly will make another rehab start to get his pitch count near 85. Without any setbacks, Lilly could return on April 24 in Milwaukee.
Derrek Lee is listed as day-to-day after leaving the game in the fifth inning on Monday with inflammation in his right thumb. Lee suffered the injury last Wednesday in Atlanta sliding into second base. Lee went to Northwestern for X-rays and they came back negative. The Cubs were afraid something might have been broken. Lee is listed as day-to-day but expected back by Thursday.
A report from Bruce Levine stated Lee “will most likely miss Wednesday’s game.” The Cubs would like to get Lee two to three days of rehab before putting him back in the lineup.
The Cubs plan to remove Alfonso Soriano for defensive purposes late in games. Lou Piniella lifted Soriano in the sixth inning on Monday in favor of Tyler Colvin. The Cubs do not plan, for now, to leave him in games and risk what happened on Sunday in Cincinnati. Lou Piniella said Soriano would not complain because “he’s a team player.”
Videos from the home opener at Wrigley
The Cubs documentary, “We Believe“, will be available on DVD beginning on Tuesday.
Make sure to check the CCO’s twitter feed, located on the right and left side bars of the main page. With the season underway, news and notes will pop up that are worthy of a mention but not front-page news. The CCO will tweet, or re-tweet, what we hear, of course from reliable sources.