Alfonso Soriano is holding down the cleanup spot–barely.
Despite leading the team with 6 RBI, Soriano has squandered numerous chances to drive in runs, which, of course, is the main objective of a true No.4 hitter.
Having been at the plate 14 times with RISP, most on the team, he’s delivered but three hits, twice drew a walk and once grounded into a double play.
It’s no wonder all five of the Cubs losses have come by three or fewer runs.
Most notably, however, is the absence of an extra base hit for Soriano–in any situation.
His health, thankfully, doesn’t appear to have any baring on his power-outage, as has been the case for so many of his seasons in Chicago. But age, on the other hand, could be taking its toll on the 36-year-old.
Whether or not Soriano can carry the offense, as he’s done in years past, is yet to be seen. But the Cubs are unquestionably banking on that Soriano being in the lineup to compete.
Eight games in is far too early to pull the plug on Sori as the cleanup batter. But his power stroke can’t lay dormant for too long without forcing Sveum to make a change.
Chicago has enough problems as it is without its cleanup hitter failing in the clutch, and that falls squarely on Soriano’s shoulders.