Rudy High on Soriano for Better 2011 – Wrigley Field 2/22/11

Posted on 22 February 2011 by Lou

Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo is confident that Alfonso Soriano has done what it will take to have a positive 2011 MLB season.  GM Jim Hendry made a huge splash before the 2007 MLB season by out-bidding (in terms of years and dollars) every other team for the best free agent on the market at the time – Alfonso Soriano.  Soriano signed an 8-year, $136 million deal and the Cubs have yet to see the fruits of their labor as Soriano has averaged just 26 HR’s, 70 RBI’s and 127 games played during the 1st 4 years of the contract.  In 2010, Soriano played the most games during his tenure with the Cubs — 147 — but the numbers were still a fraction of what the Cubs expected when they signed him.  Soriano batted just .258 – ouch! – with 24 HR’s and paltry 79 RBI’s.  WOW – what a bad deal for the Cubs AND they still have to deal with the guy for 4 more years.

That being said, Jaramillo is confident that Soriano still has some juice left in the tank.  The 2 worked together while Soriano played for the Texas Rangers and he had success under Rudy’s tutelage.  With 1 year under their belts together again, Jaramillo feels like Soriano will surprise some people in 2011.  “I can help him and Sori is definitely going back in the right direction.  I can see that his foundation is better so hopefully he just becomes more consistent.  We’ve just got to work on slowing his mind down and trust what he does in the cage.  That way he can execute that approach…We’re really trying to stress the mechanical part and the approach that goes with every situation.  Sori did well last year.  I expect him to do better.  I think he has a better understanding of what he and I tried to accomplish so I expect a good year from Sori.”

Great optimism, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  I’m not expecting .320 batting average with 40 HR’s, but if he can somehow manage to hit close to .300 with 30 dingers, I think there will be a lot of happy Cubs fans on the north side of Chicago this summer…

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