The question in Cubs camp this season has been all about the knee of Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano. Coming off surgery in September to repair his knee, Soriano is looking better then expected, and is saying the knee is feeling around 80% at this time. While no hardcore running drills have taken place as of yet, he feels he will be ready for running full strength very soon.
Last season, Soriano struggled big time at the plate, batting .241 and hitting 20 home runs with 55 RBI. His OBP was .303 overall, but .295 batting lead off, one of the lowest in the league for a lead off hitter, maybe in the last 5 years!
In his career, Soriano has played 1322 games with 290 home runs and 760 RBI. He has 257 career stolen bases, but only 9 of those in the 2009 season. That total was due to the lingering knee issues, but is it also a sign that the 30 / 30 chances have all but past him by.
A look at the projected lineup for the upcoming season is looking as if Chicago is an early powerhouse in the NL Central. Free agent signing, OF Xavier Nady, will see time in the outfield, but will be looked at as a main piece of the puzzle throughout the season as a pinch hitter and leader.
2. SS Ryan Theriot: hopes the arbitration process didn't upset the team too much
3. CF Marlon Byrd: playing CF; hopes to prove his Ranger numbers were for real
4. 1B Derrek Lee: great season last year; expecting 40 home run season
5. 3B Aramis Ramirez: when healthy is a big boost to lineup
6. C Geovany Soto: not a great 2nd season in the majors; anything possible for this 3rd season
7. RF Kosuke Fukudome: really fell apart in the 2nd half of season
8. 2B Mike Fontenot: if he hits .236 again Jeff Baker will take over at second
9. pitchers spot
Look for the Cubs to led the league in runs, and be in the top of the league in home runs and wins.