07/03/09 7:45 PM ET
Piniella suggests lineup in flux
Soriano may move down; Fuld may start for Bradley
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Lou Piniella hinted Friday that he would make some changes in the lineup for Game 3 of the four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, which may include dropping Alfonso Soriano from the leadoff spot. Soriano went 0-for-5 on Friday in Chicago's 2-1, 10-inning win over the Brewers, and was batting .226 overall and .173 in his last 36 games.
"We'll probably make a few adjustments with our lineup tomorrow," Piniella said after Friday's game. "I can tell you I have confidence in the young man [Soriano], and I feel he's going to hit. But we are going to make some adjustments with the lineup."
Asked if that meant Soriano would not be leading off, which he has done for all but two games this year, Piniella would not say.
"We need to get him jump-started somehow," Piniella said.
Sam Fuld was 4-for-8 combined on Wednesday and Thursday batting first, and he can play left or center. He may be at the top of the order on Saturday. Piniella could drop Soriano down, start Fuld in center and Kosuke Fukudome in right field against Milwaukee's Braden Looper. Soriano isn't the only one scuffling. Milton Bradley, who has heard his share of boos at Wrigley Field, is batting .195 from the left side.
"I'm used to it now," Bradley said. "When I come up, some guys are cheering, and then they boo. That's my thing."
He also couldn't find Jason Kendall's ball in the ninth inning Friday, which dropped in for a double. It was a first for the Cubs outfielder.
"I've never lost a ball in the sun," Bradley said.
Soriano didn't know what to expect on Saturday.
"If [Piniella] he thinks he has to change the lineup, that's fine," Soriano said. "He's the manager. It's important to win."
Soriano has been working with hitting coach Von Joshua the past few days, trying to hit more to the opposite field and improve his timing.
"I've never been in this [kind of] stretch before," Soriano said. "I have to keep working hard to get out of this slump."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.