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.