Lou still isn't going with my idea of moving Alfonso Soriano back to the lead-off spot. I tried again after the formal media session was over, and Lou said I'd have to answer for it, if he tried it. He's on. But it ain't happening. But what do they have to lose?
On the housekeeping side, Lou said John Grabow will be out three weeks to a month with something more than a mild sprain of his left knee. The Cubs today brought up lefty reliever James Russell and right-handed reliever Jeff Stevens from Iowa. Russell takes Grabow's spot, and Stevens brings the roster to 25 after Big Z being put on the restricted list.
Here's a look at Theriot, Soriano and Fukudome, who've been the main lead-off guys:
Walk rate: 4.8 percent (it was 7.5 percent last year and 11 percent in 2008)
Walk rate: 13.5 percent
Walk rate: 9.9 percent, his best since 2006
No, I don't consider Soriano an ideal lead-off man, and like I said when I blogged this from Houston a couple weeks back, I can't believe I'm typing this. But who else you got? I asked Lou if he had a true lead-off man.
"In a true sense, somebody who's going to steal 40 bases, that we don't have," Lou said. "Somebody should be able to swing the bat and get on base with some consistency and have a decent on-base percentage. We should be able to have that, yes."
The Class AA Tennessee Smokies had nine players named to the Southern League All-Star Game. The position players are Tony Campana, Robinson Chirinos, Steve Clevenger, Blake Lalli and Ty Wright. The pitchers are Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Ryan Buchter, David Cales and Hung-Wen Chen.
Speaking of Tennessee, Brett Jackson has 2 homers in 2 games since his promotion from Class A Daytona. He was 2-for-5 with a homer in last night's 9-6 loss to West Tenn.
At Daytona, Trey McNutt made his first start since being promoted from Peoria and lasted only 3 innings in a 4-3 win over Brevard County. McNutt gave up 4 hits and 3 runs while walking four and striking out six.
At Peoria, Jeff Antigua worked 6 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball in a 3-1 win over Burlington. Antigua got a no-decision. He's 3-5 with a 4.65 ERA. Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha extended his hitting streak to seven games by going 2-for-4 with a homer. I may get out to see Peoria next week at the Road to Wrigley game as they take on Kane County. Let me know if you’ll be here for that one.