During Sunday’s post-game press conference, Lou Piniella said he would be making changes to his lineup. Piniella did not say what changes he has in mind against right-handed starters but he announced his plans against lefties.
Piniella said he needs to make changes in order “to spur on the offense a little bit.” Starting on Monday, the Cubs face a left-handed starter in four of the next five games and Marlon Byrd will hit in the leadoff spot.
Along with Byrd being moved to the top spot, Ryan Theriot will hit eighth and Jeff Baker second against southpaws. Piniella also mentioned the possibility of Xavier Nady moving to the clean-up spot in between Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. Geovany Soto will move up one spot to seventh. Marlon Byrd has not hit in the leadoff spot in a lineup since 2007 … and that was just for three games and two at bats. In 2006, Byrd posted a .250/.379/.417 line in 14 games batting first with two doubles, two home runs and 10 walks (11 strikeouts) in 48 bats.
In 140 career games, 574 at bats, Marlon Byrd has hit .280/.346/.406/.752 with 27 doubles, six triples and 11 home runs … 52 walks and 101 strikeouts.
According to Bruce Levine, Ryan Theriot’s 1-for-11 start (0-for-4 on Sunday) against southpaws this season is “what forced Piniella’s hand”. Theriot was 0-for-5 on Sunday and is hitting just .235/ with a .273 OBP … one double and three walks in 51 at bats.
As of Sunday night, it appears Monday’s starting lineup against Jon Niese (and the other three lefties on the road trip) will be:
- Marlon Byrd – CF
- Jeff Baker – 2B
- Derrek Lee – 1B
- Xavier Nady – RF
- Aramis Ramirez – 3B
- Alfonso Soriano – LF
- Geovany Soto – C
- Ryan Theriot – SS
Stay Tuned …