Lou continues mix-and-match with lineup


Posted Aug 10, 2009


Cubs manager Lou Piniella has been juggling the lineup to take advantage of his players' strengths and to minimize their weaknesses.

Piniella moved right fielder Milton Bradley from fifth in the lineup to second to take advantage of Bradley's on-base percentage, which cracked the .400 mark Sunday.

On the other hand, Bradley has been a huge disappointment as a power-production player, with his slugging percentage under .400 to go along with eight homers and 28 RBIs.

Since moving left fielder Alfonso Soriano out of the leadoff spot and into the sixth spot one month ago, Piniella had been going with center fielder Kosuke Fukudome as his No. 1 hitter.

Piniella changed that up a bit over the weekend, too. He moved shortstop Ryan Theriot up to leadoff and put Fukudome into the fifth hole to get some left-handed production in the middle of the order.

ROCKIES 11, CUBS 5: The Cubs committed three errors, and RHP Randy Wells gave up eight hits and seven runs (five earned) in 5 1/3 innings. The Cubs lost despite cranking out a season-high 17 hits. They left 13 on base and were 5-for-19 with runners in scoring position.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Bradley had four hits, his best since joining the Cubs this season. He pushed his on-base percentage up over .400, to .401.

--RHP Carlos Zambrano will miss at least one more start as he went on the DL Saturday with lower-back spasms. Zambrano was a late scratch Friday at Colorado. He lasted just three innings Aug. 1 when his back acted up during a start at Florida. The Cubs may want Zambrano to cut back on the intensity of his batting practice. He usually swings from the heels during battng practice, and that may have contributed to the back problems.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- Wells won five games in July, becoming only the third Cubs rookie pitcher in 80 years to win at least five in one month, joining Hank Wyse (five in 1943) and Bob Chipman (five in 1944).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Seems like we get one player off the (disabled list), we reciprocate and put one back on." -- Piniella, on Zambrano going on the DL Saturday with lower-back spasms.

ROSTER REPORT

--RHP Jeff Samardzija, who has worked exclusively as a reliever in the big leagues, will start Wednesday against the Phillies in place of Zambrano. Samardzija worked as a starter for Class AAA Iowa (Des Moines) earlier this season. He threw 73 pitches in long relief Friday at Colorado.

--3B Aramis Ramirez did not play Sunday. He came out of Saturday's game with soreness in his left shoulder, which he dislocated in May, forcing him to miss two months. Ramirez also may not start Monday's game against the Rockies.

--Wells was 7-1 over his last eight starts and had his four-game personal winning streak snapped. Wells gave up a season-worst seven runs, five earned.


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OF Milton Bradley (profile)
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