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For all the hoopla surrounding whether or not Alfonso Soriano would be batting number one for the Chicago Cubs this year, precious little has been said about the rest of the order.

Manager Lou Piniella has dropped hints here and there – Derrek Lee is likely to bat third again this year (apparently Piniella is a fan of traditions that no longer make any sense – I bet he likes Flag Day), with Milton Bradley and Aramis Ramirez following – but he’s never definitively said who goes where.

Well, Lou dropped a pretty big, steaming pile of definitive the other day. And it stinks.

Kosuke Fukudome is going to be batting number two. Ok.

“He looks wonderful,” Piniella said of Fukudome. “He’s in really good shape. I told him we’re holding a spot for him, and we’ll put him out in center field and we’ll try him in the No. 2 hole in the lineup.

“He said he’s been working hard. He’s excited about this World Baseball Classic and afterwards, he’s looking forward to joining us.” cubs.com.

At least Lou qualified the placement with try.

“We’re going to try it initially with Soriano and Fukudome, one-two, against right-handed pitching and see how that works,” he said. “I think that’ll work quite well.”

I’m fine with this idea. You know, in April and May. And then when Fukudome tanks like a credit crushed stock market (ooh, timely reference!), he can move down the order.

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  • savant

    On the bright side we will know very early in the season if Fukudome is going to go in the Danny Jackson/Todd Hundley level of busted free agent signings. Is Lou really moving Fontenot to sixth because he thinks he will provide Ramirez with some protection?

    • Ace

      I don’t think that’s why; I think it’s because he wants Fuk second, and where else is Fontenot going to go? Seems like a waste to have Soto batting all the way down at 7.

  • savant

    I really think that Lou likes having his catcher bat at the bottom of the order. Against lefties I can see Soto hitting fifth when Bradley is out of the lineup.

    • Ace

      Or hitting fifth when Ramirez is out of the lineup.

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