Not sure why I’m even surprised by this, but it looks like Alfonso Soriano is still dealing with a sore knee that bothered him in 2009. That nagging knee injury caused him to put forth one of the worst offensive years of his career – .241 batting average, .303 on-base percentage, 20 HR’s, 55 RBI’s and 64 runs. What great production from the Cubs $18 million-dollar man.
Soriano still hasn’t run 100% on his surgically repaired knee and the left fielder has said that he is only running about 75-80% on the knee. The Cubs opted to have Soriano hold back a little in the off-season so that he could fully test it with Cubs medical staff present during Spring Training in Mesa. That means Soriano will need an uneventful spring in order to ensure that he is ready by opening day. WOW!
Soriano had this to say about the situation – “I’m not running 100 percent. That’s why I said I don’t feel 100 percent, because I’m not running 100 percent… We’ll see in one week when I test my knee running in the field. My knee will tell me how I feel.”
Soriano also says that he is looking forward to working with Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo who mentored Soriano when he was with the Texas Rangers back in 2004. Let’s hope the new role of being the Cubs 6th or 7th hitter will also help him relax a little more and allow him to drive in runs on a consistent basis. “It’s a new year. Whatever happened last year is past. It’s 2010 now, and we have to concentrate on 2010 and see what 2010 will bring.” It better be something better than a .303 on-base percentage and 55 RBI’s. If Soriano doesn’t turn it around in a big way, that could lead to GM Jim Hendry’s ouster as he mortgaged the Cubs future with his Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome and Milton Bradley signings each of the last 3 seasons. None of the 3 have produced the way Hendry and the Cubs thought they would, and Bradley isn’t even with the team anymore. But because of the moves, the Ricketts Family has their hands tied because of the long-term nature of the deals. The Cubs 2010 payroll is expected to top $140 million – the highest in franchise history. If the Cubs aren’t winning in October, it’s clear that the team that Hendry has assembled isn’t up to par, and when that happens, someone needs to be held accountable. It’s time for a change – just like the Cubs have new owners – now we need a new GM to run the team and bring a championship to the north side of Chicago!