Manager Lou Pinella has named Ryan Theriot his lead-off man for 2010. Theriot won the job over Kosuke Fukudome. In 42 games during the 2009 MLB season, Theriot batted .283 in the lead-off spot. He is a more consistent hitter than Fukudome who hasn’t batted better than .259 in either of his major league seasons (although he did have a .375 on-base percentage in 2009). Theriot, on the other hand, has batted .266, .307 and .284 in each of his last 3 seasons and he has a career .356 on-base percentage.
Pinella also indicated that Mike Fontenot – Theriot’s college teammate at LSU – has pulled ahead of Jeff Baker for the starting 2nd base job. Fontenot started the 2009 as the Cubs 2nd baseman, but he failed to deliver during the course of the long MLB schedule. Fontenot hit only .236 and he split time with trade deadline acquiree Jeff Baker for the duration of the season. Pinella likes the idea of having 2 lefties in the Cubs lineup – Fukudome in the 2-spot and Fontenot in the 7-spot.
I like the Theriot lead-off slot, but relying upon Fontenot again seems like a disaster waiting to happen. I hope I’m wrong and I hope the “Pocket-Rocket” can deliver for the Cubs on a consistent basis during the 2010 MLB schedule.