Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Pie Up As Soriano Goes Down
2007-04-17 19:20
by Phil Bencomo

It's been a tumultuous two days for the Cubs, not to mention for me. They're high, then low, good, then bad. It's been enough to give anyone a good case of vertigo.

* * * *

According to, Alfonso Soriano isn't expected to spend any time on the DL:

An MRI exam on Alfonso Soriano's left leg revealed a minor hamstring strain, and he did not expect to need more than a week to heal. The Cubs medical staff apparently agreed, because Soriano was not placed on the disabled list Tuesday.

Felix Pie, called up to fill in for Soriano, was impressive in his debut, highlighted by a picture-perfect throw from center in the 10th to nail Russell Branyan at the plate and keep the score knotted at three. Sorry Alfonso, but we won't miss your glovework – not with Pie in center.

As for Pie's future with the club, it's all but certain that he'll be returned to AAA when Soriano returns to the lineup. By that time, Wade Miller, who was again unspectacular in the Cubs' loss, will have had another start, in which he hopefully convinces Hendry that Angel Guzman, not Miller, belongs in the rotation. Guzman, of 2.45 ERA in 7.1 innings and 8 K to 1 BB, certainly didn't deserve to be sent to Iowa. That distinction goes to Will Ohman, who maintained his 9.00 ERA by losing today's game in the 14th.

Back to Pie: I'm not completely sold on him yet, like some. One game in the majors and a handful in the minors shouldn't be enough to convince anyone of much of anything. I keep hearing about Pie's improved plate discipline, with the evidence being his nine walks and only five strikeouts at Iowa. Sorry, but I see 36 at-bats next to his name and the alarms start going off: "Small sample size! Small sample size!" Since we're looking at Iowa stats, why not pronounce Iowa first baseman Micah Hoffpauir, with his .700+ slugging percentage, the second coming of Lou Gehrig? Pretty preposterous, right? Plate discipline isn't something that suddenly rears his head in a player, so until Pie shows, over at least half a year, that he has truly accomplished a rare feat by changing his hitting approach, I'll remain unconvinced.

But if Pie tears up the minors over the next few months, I'll go out on a short limb and say Jacque Jones won't be a Cub come August.

2007-04-18 07:20:14
1.   Sandus
I used to separate Ohman's name (much like some people do to Theriot) into "Oh Man!," because that's how I felt whenever he came into the game.

That has since been upgraded to "Oh (Crap)!," owing to the fact that he can't get righties out at all, yet still continues to face them.

I never understood why people allowed him to pitch full innings with his borderline command and mediocre stuff. He's like a poor man's Terry Mulholland (and I'm not too fond of Mully's work either).

2007-04-18 12:51:17
2.   Phil Bencomo
Unfortunately, Ohman's not going anywhere. From the Trib:


Manager Lou Piniella was asked before the game what could be done to turn Ohman around.

"We just have to pitch him a little more," Piniella said. "He needs more work."

But Ohman, the last man out of the bullpen, had another tough outing.

"Look, he has to get better," Piniella said. "What can I say? We're going to give him the ball, give him the opportunity."

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